Posted Date: 08/10/2023
Crypto Mining Update
Mayor Jackson testifies
ROGERS – A joint meeting of the Senate and House Committee on City, County, and Local Affairs met on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the Rogers Convention Center dealing with Crypto Mining issues. Several Harrison residents attended the meeting.
Senator Scott Flippo requested Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson to speak about the city’s experience. Jackson recapped for the committee the situation in Boone County and Harrison. He concluded with, “So now that we have two acts that just became law that give favor to an industry that our people don’t even want – the sooner we repeal these acts, the better.”
King asked for a consideration of the adoption of an interim study proposal (ISP) to repeal the Arkansas Data Centers Act of 2023.
The lengthy meeting included Senator Bryan King, who said, “The bill is a bad deal for Arkansans because those companies get more protection than average business owners. We don’t know what the crypto centers do. Certainly pig butchering, FTX, all these things, then we turn around and regulate stock brokers, banks, and pay-day lenders to a certain amount. Now the crypto miners are getting away with anything they want.”
Boone County Justice of the Peace Glenn Redding said, “I asked the committee members to do the right thing. To listen to their constituents, to ask Governor Sanders to call a Special Session to repeal these two acts that seem to provide unprecedented protections to the crypto-mining industry. I asked the Committee members to conduct an interim study and at least amend the acts to allow the City and County to provide safeguards by ordinances to protect our communities. I thanked them for holding that committee meeting and listening to Senator Bryan King and others.
The Committee voted after Senator King spoke and before the Mayor or Redding spoke. Senator King had asked for the interim study to be conducted.
“I was disappointed in the Senate and House Committee because they voted against an interim study on Acts 819 and 851, Redding said. “Senator Flippo advised me after the meeting that Acts 819 and 851 could be discussed in regular session. He said he would look at amending the language in the Acts.”