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More than 100 new laws go into effect in Arkansas

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - More than 100 new laws hit the books in Arkansas Wednesday, ranging anywhere from concealed carry to masking mandate policies.

One of the most debated laws is Act 1090, which clearly defines grounds for driving in the left lane of a multi-lane highway. Arkansas had a similar law in the past, but Arkansas State Police say this more clearly defines what drivers should and shouldn’t use the left lane for.

”They go too slow, it’s the fast lane get out of the way,” said Mackenzie Dillon.

When driving on the highway Joel Loggins believes there are unspoken rules drivers believe should be followed, but now those are going law.

”If you’re holding up traffic, move over,” he said. “I like to drive in the fast lane a lot, because the slow lane is usually pot holes and usually a lot rougher.”

”I think it is common sense to get out of the way,” said Dillon.

Drivers lounging in the left lane is something that effects everyone.

”I think there is a lot of people that don’t know how to drive out there,” said Emily Loggins.

”Basically all vehicles will travel in the right lane on a multi-lane highway unless your overtaking a vehicle to the left,” explained Cpl. Justin Ricketts of the Arkansas State Police. “You can operate in the left lane if you’re like a left turn off of a multi-lane road.”

Missouri’s had similar laws in place for awhile, and issue roughly 4,000 citations a year for left lane offenders.

Another new law is Act 1002, which bans masking mandates by any state or federal entity within Arkansas. It means schools cannot require students to wear masks when they start back in a few weeks. Wednesday Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he will address the state about this issue at a news conference, while he is in talks with state lawmakers about a potential change to the decision. He told KY3 Monday that he was “open to calling a special session” if lawmakers found reason to better protect students when they go back.

Here are other laws into effect:

Alcohol & Tobacco

Act 158 & Act 703 allows retailers, restaurants and small brewers to deliver alcohol to people who order it.

Act 940 allows Arkansas-based cigar shops to sell cigars online to buyers inside or outside the state.

Guns

Act 1024 makes it legal to carry a concealed handgun in many local government properties. Act 638 and Act 693 specify that city parks and sports fields are included.

Act 809 removes the requirement that an employee who leaves their gun in their car while at work must keep it in a locked container.

Act 433 repeals a ban on guns in certain parts of the state, including Benton and Carroll counties.

Act 250 loosens the rules on when a person is allowed to use physical force in self-defense.

Health Care

Act 1002 bans state and local governments from requiring masks. Gov. Hutchinson said Monday he is open to a special legislative session to change this law.

Act 977 bans state agencies from requiring COVID-19 vaccines.

Act 1030 bans state agencies from requiring “vaccine passports.”

Act 462 forbids discrimination against health care workers who refuse to participate in a service that violates their conscience.

For a full list of the laws enacted on July 28, 2021 click the link.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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