LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – SB599 is a new bill that according to some Arkansas lawmakers was filed in an effort to improve financial literacy in Arkansans. 

State Senator Missy Irvin says the goal with the creation of Arkansas Financial Education Commission is to help Arkansans make better decisions about finances. “And you can’t do that if you don’t know anything about the financial world.”

The commission would be made up of people within the financial world including the Arkansas Bankers Association, a federal credit union, and have at least one female and one minority representative on the nine-person commission. 

They will be tasked with reaching out to all parts of the state across all socioeconomic classes.  Irvin says people need to know what things mean and their context in real life.

“There needs to be some education given to people about that and about the pitfalls to avoid but also what is, how these things are defined,” Irvin said.

One member of the commission will have the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education or a designee.  Irvin says reaching kids is paramount on financial matters is paramount to how they will decide things as adults.

“To really give our students the ability to understand financial literacy and be literate in the world of finances and to understand that concept and if we do that we’ll have more people being successful,” Irvin said.

Irvin said that this is not just for school-aged kids and younger adults.  The commission would be tasked with how to reach out to adults in Arkansas and Irvin says it could be done through the many financial and assistance programs already implemented.

“And so this literacy commission, this financial literacy commission will help with all of those other programs that we’re trying to bring to bare to help improve citizens’ life opportunities and their life circumstances,” Irvin said.