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— Public participation is an essential part of our democracy. In preparation for the upcoming session, House and Senate leadership have agreed to a few rules so Arkansans can participate in an environment that is as safe and healthy as possible.

With limited exceptions, a mask or other cloth face covering will be required to enter committee rooms and public comment holding rooms. All individuals will be submitted to a temperature check and onsite health screening at the entrance to either the State Capitol Building or the adjacent MAC Building.

We have provided nearby space for committee rooms for members of the public to watch the live stream while they wait for their turn to testify for or against a bill. These rooms will provide ample space for social distancing.

Staff will direct you to sign up sheets and they will be available at www.arkleg.state.ar.us .

In an effort to prevent crowds in committee rooms, the rules call for revised committee agendas. These are designed to let the public know what bills will be heard on a given day. Committee agendas will be divided into three categories.

(A) Regular Agenda–bills to be considered by the committee on the date of the agenda.

(B) Consent Agenda–bills on the committee agenda for which there is no known opposition or expected public testimony and that may be taken up at any time by the committee.

(C) Deferred Bills–bills for which committee consideration has been deferred either for failure of the sponsor to appear or at the request of the sponsor.

Committee agendas will be posted at least eighteen (18) hours prior to the committee meeting.

There is limited public seating in the House chamber. Our chamber proceedings and every committee is live streamed and archived on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

On Monday, January 11, members will be sworn into office and officially elect the Speaker for the 93rd General Assembly.

On Tuesday, January 12, the Governor will give his State of the State address in the House Chamber.

We will continue to update you during the session.

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