Arkansas Opt-Out Bill: The Devil’s in the Details

Only There Aren’t any Details—at Least Not Yet

Lately, I’ve seen a number of news items indicating that the Arkansas Legislature is considering an opt-out arrangement for its workers’ compensation system. The implication is that Senate Bill 653, introduced March 6, by state senator David J. Sanders (R., Dist. 15), would create an “alternative” similar to that which the Oklahoma Supreme Court found unconstitutional for the Sooner State in 2016. As is often said about any piece of legislation, “the devil’s in the details.” The only thing about SB 653: there are no details. Indeed, so far the bill is a one-paragraph shell. A complete copy of the one-page bill can be found here. I learned, through a call to the senator’s office, that the practice of introducing a shell is quite common in Arkansas. I’ll keep watching for details.

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