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As day 1 of special sessions begins, Arkansas state legislators discuss tax cuts and school safety

Bills addressing issues of tax cuts and school safety made their way into their respective committees as day one of Arkansas's special session took place on Tuesday.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Lawmakers in Arkansas made their way to Little Rock on Tuesday for the first day of the special session. 

On the agenda for the special session, were bills that related to tax cuts, school safety, and how much of it will come from the billion-dollar surplus that Arkansas currently has.

Both sides of this – tax cuts and school safety – had their respective bills make their way through respective committees on Tuesday afternoon. 

All proposed bills had motioned to pass and were passed out of the committee.

On the tax cuts sides, talks were heavy about the money that Arkansans could save. On the House side, legislators touted the bill which would give Arkansans a $150 tax credit to anyone who makes less than $87,000 a year.

On the Senate side, lawmakers said average Arkansans could save between $300-$500.

"You know, we're gonna start giving some of your money back," Senator Bob Ballinger, (R) - Ozark, said. "So, to me, with a surplus, the best thing to do is to get some of that money back.

School safety was also a big topic in the special session, and some legislators questioned where the money came from. 

Others questioned whether the $50,000,000 that had been discussed was going to be enough to keep kids safe.

"But we are here in this special session, let's go ahead and appropriate funds that are needed, to implement those suggestions, when, you know, when the time comes," Senator Joyce Elliott, (D) - Little Rock, said. "That's what it was about. but right now, it's just about saying, here's 50 million dollars, so when we get the final report we can get started."

Teacher pay has also been a hot-button issue for months now. Many people called for legislators to take it up during Tuesday's session. 

Senator Ballinger said the support is there – on both sides of the aisle – to make it happen, but that they should wait until the next session to handle that.

Both the House and Senate will reconvene on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.

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