Comprehensive Government Reorganization Bill Filed in General Assembly

On Friday, March 8th, Representative Andy Davis filed HB1763 , which represents the comprehensive legislation to reorganize state government according to the plans of Governor Asa Hutchinson. The bill is over 2,000 pages and provides the necessary legislative language to provide for 15 cabinet level positions and the integration of multiple state government agencies into 15 departments led by the cabinet level leaders.

As it relates to agriculture, the bill places the Secretary of Agriculture into a cabinet level position and combines existing agencies at the Department of Agriculture into the Department while preserving the regulatory rule making and enforcement responsibilities of these agencies and ensuring special revenues are restricted to the uses in which they are intended. In addition, the agencies will continue its services related to implementing statutes and rules governing the agencies.

A major new change to the Agriculture Department with this bill is that this bill would move the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC), an agency currently in a stand alone position, into the Agriculture Department.

The bill was approved by the House on March 14th with a vote of 82-0 and referred to the Senate State Agencies Committee where it will undergo further review. The first meeting in the Committee will be at 7:30 am Tuesday, March 19th.

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