LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Legislature on Monday began a session in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic that has prompted new safety measures and an effort by some Republicans to scale back the governor’s emergency powers.
The House and Senate convened for the 93rd General Assembly, with both chambers featuring plexiglass partitions between members. Gov. Asa Hutchinson planned to deliver his State of the State address to the Legislature on Tuesday.
More than 4,000 people in Arkansas have died from COVID-19 and Arkansas has had one of the biggest outbreaks in a state legislature. Hutchinson has faced pushback from some fellow Republicans over the restrictions imposed to combat the virus.
Other issues expected to come up during the session include a hate crimes bill, tax cuts and “stand your ground” legislation.