Arkansans are facing historic unemployment numbers, small businesses are worried about making it through the summer, the state budget is being gutted because of shortfalls, and families are heading into a summer without childcare and a fall where every child will be behind.
So what is the state Legislature doing with our limited and diminished resources?
Republicans are cutting a $100 million check to the top one percent of Arkansans.
Families and working people won’t see a dime.
In April, the Arkansas Senate voted to shoot down a proposal by Democratic lawmakers to suspend this Top One Percent, 2019 tax cut until it can be re-evaluated after the COVID crisis and economic downturn. Republican state Senators Trent Garner (El Dorado, Camden, Pine Bluff) and Jane English (North Little Rock, Maumelle, Jacksonville, Sherwood) were among those in the Senate who chose to send your tax dollars to millionaires during this crisis.
Democrats have proposed a better use for that money.
Give people security to get through all of this.
Arkansas Democrats have fought during this month’s Fiscal Session for a fully-staffed unemployment hotline; support services for small businesses navigating new loan programs; relief for renters and homeowners facing evictions and utility terminations; and safeguarding against draconian budget cuts to education and healthcare during this crisis. Arkansans deserve a basic level of security for the duration of this crisis.
Minority Leader Fred Love introduced legislation to put the people of Arkansas first.
“Our budget this Fiscal session needs to put the people of Arkansas first. This, above all else is our mission, it’s our calling. Arkansas deserves no less. As a state, we can’t be asking families to head into the months ahead not knowing if they’ll get unemployment help, or be able to procure a loan for their small business —or whether or not they’ll be evicted because they are barred from going to work because of a state-issued public health order. The governor has described the problem as historic. It is a monumental challenge — and we must rise to the occasion.
State revenue is falling by hundreds of millions of dollars. There’s also about a $100 million tax cut that will go into effect soon. But almost all of it goes only to those who are already very well-off. That’s why I am calling to delay the tax cut plan for people making more than $450-thousand until this crisis is over and our economy has had a chance to recover — and serve the working people of Arkansas. They are my top priority. The well-being of working families should come second to none.”
State Senator Joyce Elliott spoke up on the floor the Senate, “We are all being asked to make sacrifices in this unprecedented time with COVID-19 and the squeeze on our budgets…is it fair now that we have a tax break for folks who are the most well off, should we consider postponing that? It’s not being done in a mean spirit but in a spirit of equity.”
Check out this breakdown from Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families…
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