Below is a list of bills being tracked by ARSHRM. They are requesting volunteers to testify regarding SB38. Please email me at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 if you are interested in testifying.

ARSHRM Legislation Tracking

2013 Arkansas General Session
February 8, 2013

There are several bills and issues being tracked by the Governmental Affairs team. Specifically:

Unemployment Bills

HB 1018

Increases maximum potential unemployment benefits in a benefit year from twenty-five to twenty-six times the worker's weekly benefit amount; increases maximum eligibility for shared work plan compensation to twenty-six weeks.

Position: ARSHRM is opposed to HB 1018 because it undoes a portion of the unemployment Insurance reform that ARSHRM supported in 2011. The Unemployment Insurance trust fund continues to have a large deficit and this bill is estimated to cost the trust fund 4-5 million dollars per year. Claimants are eligible to receive extended unemployment benefits that extend beyond the 25 week period. Extended benefits are paid by the federal government.

HB 1032

Requires the Department of Workforce Services to conduct bi-weekly interviews with persons making claims for unemployment benefits.

Position: ARSHRM has not developed an official position on HB 1032 but will continue to track.

HB 1033

Requires employees to contribute 0.5% of all wages to the Unemployment Compensation Fund.

Position: ARSHRM has not developed an official position on HB 1033 but will continue to track.

SB 38

Requires applicants and recipients of unemployment benefits to be tested for illegal drug use.

Position: ARSHRM is for SB 38. Individuals using illegal drugs should not be considered available for work. A significant number of employers require that applicants pass a drug test before being hired. An individual using illegal drugs is restricting their ability to find employment.

New Hire Registry

HB 1259

Requires employers to report the hiring of independent contractors to the new hire registry.

Position: ARSHRM is opposed to HB 1259. Independent contractors are utilized by organizations for many different purposes. The various regulatory agencies already define who is considered an employee and who can be treated as an independent contractor. This bill would require an organization to screen vendors before entering into a contractual supplier relationship to determine whether the supplier would receive a 1099-Misc.

Guns in the Parking Lot

HB 1269

Prohibits employers from prohibiting employees with a concealed carry permit from keeping a handgun in their locked vehicle in the employer’s parking lot.

Position: ARSHRM has not developed an official position on HB 1269 but will continue to track.

Veteran Preference for Private Employers

Thomas Dunlap has been researching this issue and has developed wording for the rationale and legislation that would allow (not require) a private employer to hire a veteran over an equally qualified non-veteran. Currently getting the actual bill language and finding potential sponsors.

Position: ARSHRM is for a voluntary veteran preference for private employers. ARSHRM will move forward on locating a sponsor and developing the final language for a bill to be filed in the 2013 session.