LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation Thursday morning that will reform outdoor recreation and tourism in Arkansas.
Sanders signed four bills at Pinnacle Mountain State Park that are a part of the Natural State Initiative. One of the legislations sponsored by Rep. John Maddox (R-Mena) will establish the Natural State Initiative Pilot Program. Maddox also sponsored another legislation that will help with furnishing overnight lodging facilities with amenities, furniture and décor.
This legislation package will also allow state parks to sell alcoholic beverages on premises an help maintain trails in Arkansas. Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) who also sponsored the signed bills said that the measures will help attract tourist to Arkansas.
“These bills will reduce our administrative burden,” Irvin said. “They will cut out unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy so that we are able to compete and really attract tourism into our state and into our state parks.”
First Gentleman Bryan Sanders, who served as chair of the Natural State Initiative Advisory Council, spoke on grants that will go toward financing outdoor recreation projects in the state. He also talked about increasing tax credits for small towns to focus on preservation and revitalization.
Before signing the legislation, Sanders gave an update on the recovery efforts in Arkansas following the March 31 tornadoes. The governor said that the American Red Cross has partnered with the state to provide temporary housing for tornado victims.