Governor and legislative leaders preview the 92nd General Assembly
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) —
January 2019 is here, which means the 92nd General Assembly for the Arkansas State Legislature begins soon.
"I think we ought to be ready for one of the most historic and transformative sessions of the General Assembly I know we've seen in my lifetime, if not longer than that," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.
Friday morning, Gov. Hutchinson, Senate President Pro Tem Jim Hendren and House Speaker Matthew Shepherd took questions from the media on what's to come for the 92nd General Assembly.
"You've got 135 legislators that have other agendas and I respect that," Gov. Hutchinson said. "I mean, that's part of a legislative session."
"I think it's an exciting opportunity for the state," Speaker Shephard said.
It's exciting because of the various pieces of legislation looking to be discussed and voted upon this upcoming assembly, like highway funding, which Gov. Hutchinson said will be led by the Legislature.
"I’m yielding to them to take some ownership and see what kind of plan that they could come up with," he said.
"There's just not an easy answer to a $400 million problem," Sen. Hendren said.
Tax reform, one of the main focuses for the governor, was discussed.
"Everyone knows my priority is to get the individual tax rate down in Arkansas to a competitive level," Gov. Hutchinson said.
Additionally, Sen. Hendren touched upon reform in the juvenile justice system.
"I think there are a lot of people who know we need to make some changes," he said.
On the heels of the new session, Gov.Hutchinson is optimistic in the legislation that will be discussed.
"We have a lot of work to do," he said. "I look forward to working with the new leadership."
The governor also touched upon a proposal to restructure Arkansas' government by consolidating different departments and agencies.
The 92nd General Assembly will begin Monday, January 14th.