Last week, the House passed legislation outlining new boundaries for Arkansas’ four congressional districts.

HB1982 and SB743 are identical bills that divide the state into the following districts:

The first congressional district includes the counties of Arkansas, Baxter, Boone, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, St. Francis, Searcy, Sharp, Stone and Woodruff. It also includes and a portion of Pulaski County.

The second congressional district will include the counties of Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Perry, Saline, Van Buren and White, and a large portion of Pulaski County.

The third congressional district will include the counties of Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Madison and Washington, and a portion of Sebastian County.

The fourth congressional district will include Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Drew, Franklin, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Pike, Polk, Pope, Scott, Sevier, Union and Yell, and portion of Pulaski and Sebastian Counties.

We have posted the map proposed in the legislation at www.arkansashouse.org.

The bills have now been sent to the governor’s desk.

Last week, the House also passed HB1977 and SB739.

These bills state that an employer that requires vaccination or immunization for COVID-19 for its employees shall provide specific exemption processes outlined in the legislation.

The bills state the exemption process shall include options that allow the employee to produce either:

A negative antigen detection test result or molecular diagnostic test result no more than one time per week showing that the employee is not positive for COVID-19; or

Proof of immunity for the virus that causes COVID-19 or its variants, including without limitation the presence of antibodies, T cell response or proof of a positive COVID-19 or its variants test, on a basis of two times per year from a licensed healthcare provider.

The House will be in recess unless the speaker called us back to the Capitol to address any errors or consider any vetoes. If we are not called back to the Capitol, the 2021 regular session will officially adjourn Friday.

Rep. Les Eaves, R-Searcy, is serving his third term in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He can be reached at leseaves2014@gmail.com.

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