Executive Orders: What Now?
Over the weekend, the state’s emergency health declaration ended, signaling the beginning of a return to normalcy. For 14 months, Arkansas maintained the state of emergency and Governor Asa Hutchinson’s executive orders allowed businesses, hospitals, and the public to continue to operate despite social distancing and other COVID-19 safety requirements. Though those executive orders ended with the termination of the emergency declaration, many of their policies remain in place, now as law.
On March 29, 77 days into the 2021 regular session, Governor Hutchinson spoke to the Arkansas Legislative Council and requested a 60-day extension of the emergency declaration and a continuation of five executive orders. At the time, bills related to the various executive orders had been filed, but none had made their way to the Governor’s desk. Governor Hutchinson urged the legislature to act stating, “the ending of all of those final remaining executive orders is dependent upon action by this body.”
The legislature did act, and this blog series will provide insight into the legislative process behind each executive order becoming law and what these new laws mean for Arkansans now that the emergency declaration has ended.
Wednesday, June 9
EO-20-33 – HB1487 – Act 559
Provides civil immunity to businesses that act in good faith while attempting to comply with health and safety directives.
Wednesday, June 16
EO-20-52 – HB1521 – Act 510
Ensuring healthcare professionals are equipped with the tools necessary to combat COVID-19.
Wednesday, June 23
EO-20-14 – SB340 – Act 1047
Allows for remote witnessing of certain documents by a notary public.
Wednesday, June 30
EO-20-05 – HB1063 – Act 829
Amends the telemedicine act.
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