A handful of laws passed by lawmakers in 2023 will go into effect on Monday. These new laws include changes to health care, education, labor and taxes. These laws were passed in the regular legislative session and a special session in September.

New laws concerning jobs & the economy


Act 6 cuts income taxes in the state of Arkansas. The law reduces the personal income tax rate to 4.4% for Arkansans with a net income greater than $24,300. It lowers the corporate income tax rate to 4.8% for corporations with a net income greater than $11,000.

Act 485 looks to phase out the state’s throwback rule. The act’s authors wrote in the bill that this measure will enhance the state’s economy. Throwback rules allow a state to tax sales from tangible property that aren’t taxed in another state where the product is sold. Starting Jan. 1, the throwback tax rate will be lowered each year until it’s completely gone in 2030.

Act 106 changes how one can be disqualified from unemployment benefits. Starting Monday, Arkansans on unemployment will be disqualified from benefits if they don’t apply for work when they’re told to by the Division of Workforce Services, fail to accept a suitable job within five days of being offered or don’t show up for two interviews.        CaptiUnmute0

Act 160, also known as the Housing Welfare Reform Act of 2023, requires people who are able to work to work, train, or volunteer to qualify for public housing benefits. The act says it’s “intended to preserve limited resources for truly needy Arkansans.”

Act 192 changes how Arkansans file their taxes. It requires people who have an average of $5,000 in gross receipts tax liability or monthly compensating use tax liability per month are required to file their taxes online. The online filing fee may be waived if it’s determined the fee would cause “undue hardship on the taxpayer.”

Act 587, or the Arkansas Reemployment Act, requires people collecting unemployment to make at least five work search contacts every week in order to collect benefits. This means applying for a job, completing a job interview, attending a job fair, or participating in certain job skill trainings.

New laws concerning health care:

Act 316 requires health care providers to offer depression screenings to mothers at the time of birth, and it requires health insurance policies to cover those screenings. Birth mothers can refuse these screenings, but it must be noted in their records.

Act 502 changes how you access your medical records. The new law means your health care provider will not have to provide physical copies of your medical records to you if they’re available online. This does not mean health care providers are required to provide electronic records either. It just means electronic records are sufficient.

New laws concerning law enforcement and corrections:

Act 537 offers counseling to public safety employees involved in traumatic events. The law says police officers, firefighters, national guardsmen, sheriffs and sheriff’s deputies, and other public safety employees will be eligible for mental health treatment covered by their public employer if they’re involved in a traumatic event. It also calls for the State Fire Prevention Commission to work with interested local governments to look into the viability of providing this same coverage for volunteer firefighters.

Act 659or the Protect Arkansas Act, changes Arkansas laws surrounding sentencing, parole, and criminal offenses, and creates the Legislative Recidivism Reduction Task Force. It requires people convicted of committing, attempting, or aiding in felony offenses, including murder, rape, aggravated robbery, trafficking, and sex crimes involving minors to serve 100% of their sentences. Those convicted of other felonies will be required to serve at least 85%. The Legislative Recidivism Reduction Task will work to improve the criminal justice system in Arkansas.

Act 202 requires law enforcement officers in Arkansas to have training concerning Alzheimer’s and other dementias to receive their certification starting in 2024. They’ll be trained to better communicate with, search, and identify people with Alzheimer’s.

Act 8 clarifies existing law about sentencing for felony offenses with a firearm. Anyone sentenced after the start of 2024 for a felony with a firearm is not eligible for early release.