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1.17.21 – LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – KAIT – By Region 8 Newsdesk

The Stand Your Ground bill as well as several key pieces of legislation will be part of this week’s work at the State Capitol, as lawmakers finished a busy first week.

The session kicked off Jan. 11, with lawmakers sworn in for another term at the State Capitol in Little Rock.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson gave his final regular session State of the State address Jan. 12, talking about the state’s budget, tax cuts as well as a hate crimes bill.

Both hate crimes bills – SB3 – sponsored by Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) and HB1020 – sponsored by Rep. Fred Love (D-Mabelvale) are currently in committee and face fierce debate on the issue.

“My only request is that you listen and make your own judgments on the bill,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

During the speech Tuesday, Gov. Hutchinson also said the state has approved about $800 million in tax cuts since he became governor, with the state having a $200 million unallocated fund reserve.

The governor also said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has beaten economic forecasts by about $300 million in this year’s budget.