Legislative Agenda

Health/Health Equity

  • Protecting Reproductive Health Rights
    • SB6 – Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act  sponsored by Sen. Jason Rapert ( NASW AR opposes )
      • This bill seeks to classify abortions performed for any reason other than to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency as a felony with fines up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years.
    • Protecting Affordable Care Act
    • Expanding services for pregnant and postpartum/maternal child health

Economic Security/Housing

  • Covid-19 relief
  • Student Loan reduction/relief
  • Wage and Labor protections
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Food Disparity
  • Eviction Protections/Preventions –  Arkansas is the only state in the country  without  tenant protections
    • Tenant Protections
    • Transitional housing for men and women leaving institutions
    • Service of Homeless population

Criminal Justice

  • SB3 – Sentence Enhancements and Annual Reporting for Hate Crimes  sponsored by Sen. Jim Hendren ( NASW AR supports )
    • This bill creates sentence enhancements for certain offenses committed against a person due to the person’s attributes and requires an annual report concerning the commission of hate crimes in Arkansas.
  • Funding Social Workers in lieu of police/SROs in schools
    • Abolishing school-to-prison pipeline
    • Increase school funding
  • Eliminating bail/Ending cash bail
  • Social Work and Policing
    • Integrating Social Workers into emergency response issue, triage 911 calls
    • Decrease reliance on the police for mental health crises situations, utilize social workers
    • CAHOOTS (Eugene, Oregon),  NPR-CAHOOTS Interview
    • Increase public education on services available for mental health crises situations/decrease 911 response

Professional Practice

  • Protecting the Ethics of the Social Work Profession
    • Senate Bill 289 “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act”  sponsored by Kim Hammer  (NASW AR opposes)
      • This bill would remove fundamental protections against discrimination on a broad basis, by allowing therapists, counselors, and other included public service providers to deny services based on the providers’ personal bias/beliefs.
  • Diversifying the social work profession
  • CEU requirements for anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion
  • Alternatives for licensing exam to make more equitable for English as a Second Language (“ESL”) & BIPOC applicants
  • Licensing Reciprocity
    • Multi-state partnerships / Interstate Licensure Compacts
    • National Standard/Licensure Portability
  • Telehealth reimbursements/Telehealth in rural communities
    • Audio only in telehealth to be covered by Medicaid
    • Ensuring access to the equipment needed by those in rural areas or who are socioeconomically disadvantaged (e.g., broadband connections, computers, etc.)

Voting Rights

  • Voter Suppression/Voting Protections
  • Voter Participation
    • Addressing engagement barriers (lack of voting sites, inadequate equipment)

Environmental Justice

  • Increasing reliance on renewable energy and decreasing carbon emissions and fracking
  • Addressing the links between environmental quality and social justice
    • Racial, ethnic, and geographical disparities in exposure to pollution and toxic chemicals
  • Equality in widespread protections from pollution and toxic chemicals