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SWAR lawmaker reflects on her first legislative session

Published: Apr. 4, 2017 at 9:24 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2017 at 3:18 AM CDT
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TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - Arkansas lawmakers wrapped up their 2017 session this week.

It was a busy three months as they discussed more than 2,000 bills.

Rep. Carol Dalby, who represents the Texarkana area, says her first legislative session was quite an experience and she's looking forward to getting into a routine.

"It really was a great experience, surely enjoyed the legislative process, formulating laws and working hard," said Dalby, who now is getting back to her regular job.

Dalby said she thinks lawmakers helped move the state forward in terms of economic development.

She also says she was proud to support legislation that would give income tax exemptions to military retirees.

"Military retirees who will come back to Arkansas, or may move to Arkansas for the first time because of this benefit will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the state."

Arkansas lawmakers also passed a bill that will reduce income tax for residents in a lower income bracket.

Dalby says the session did come with disappointments, like not providing more money for education.

"When we finished up, it didn't matter what party we were in," she recalled. "We were hugging and happy.

"We go out as friends and we come in as friends. We may have disagreements, but we are really fortunate in Arkansas that we really do get along and we work to make our state a better place."

Dalby and other lawmakers approved a $5.5 billion budget for Arkansas.

They will return to the state Capitol for a special session in May.

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