LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has called for a special session with a focus on tax cuts, updates to the Freedom of Information Act and changes to COVID-19 regulations.

During a news conference Friday morning, Sanders, along with state Sen. Jonathan Dismang and state Rep. David Ray, announced the call for the special session and broke down the topics they looked to tackle by bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol.

“When I took this office, I promised to limit the growth of government before government could limit the growth of liberty,” Sanders said. “To achieve that, today, I’m calling a special session of the legislature, beginning next Monday, focused on three things, cutting taxes, streamlining state government, and protecting our freedom.” 


Sanders said that by the end of the special session, the state would have cut $250 million in annual personal income taxes and $58 million in annual corporate income taxes. The governor said it would lower the personal income tax rate to 4.4% and the corporate income tax rate to 4.8%

She also said that the state will offer up to $150 in a one-time tax relief payment to around 1 million middle-class taxpayers making less than $90,000 yearly. She added that the state will create the Arkansas Reserve Fund, which will be filled with $710 million to continue phasing out income taxes entirely.


The governor said legislation during the session will also focus on updating sections of the Freedom of Information Act. The changes would lift requirements from the Arkansas State Police to disclose sources and methods used to protect the governor outside of the Governor’s Mansion.

Sanders added that Arkansas State Police will be required to prepare a report on a quarterly basis for legislature that provides the cost of security for the first family.

Laws will also be updated to federal government standards to keep internal deliberations in the executive branch exempt from FOIA, Sanders said.


The governor said legislation introduced in the special session would look to restrict mandates and other rules tied to the COVID-19 response, including banning vaccine mandates for all state employees.

Sanders also said that the Arkansas Department of Health will inform state residents of potential risks to the vaccine.

Before taking questions from reporters, Sanders reiterated while she thought there were a number of impactful pieces of legislation passed by lawmakers earlier this year, she planned to continue aggressively pushing ahead for more change. 

“After a successful regular session, I never said that we would sit back and rest and do nothing,” the governor said. “We’re going to continue to make big changes. We’re rejecting the status quo and we’re making this government better because that’s what the people of Arkansas deserve.” 

A proclamation sent by the governor’s office later in the day Friday outlined other topics to be discussed in the special session, including school security, punishments for gun crimes and funding programs tied to the Arkansas LEARNS Act.

The special session is expected to begin Monday, Sept. 11, and end Wednesday, Sept. 13.