WHEREAS: On March 31, 2023, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes struck Arkansas and continue to cause dangers, hardships, and suffering throughout the state;
WHEREAS: On that same day, by Executive Order 23-20, an emergency was declared in the state as a result of the severe weather outbreak, pursuant to the Emergency Services Act, codified at Ark. Code Ann. §§ 12-75-101, et. seq;
WHEREAS: Employees of the State of Arkansas have been and may continue to be adversely affected by these destructive weather conditions and may be in dire need of emergency leave time to respond to the resulting damage and injuries caused by such weather conditions;
WHEREAS: It would be in the best interest of the State of Arkansas, and would promote the most efficient operation of state government, to allow these state employees to take emergency paid leave to address the losses they have incurred in the wake of such weather conditions;
NOW THEREFORE, I, SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, acting under the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Arkansas and pursuant to Ark Code Ann. §§ 12-75-101, et seq., issue this Executive Order pursuant to the ongoing emergency as declared in Executive Order 23-20, and order the following:
1. This Executive Order is issued pursuant to Article VI, Section 2 of the Arkansas Constitution, and Ark. Code Ann. § 12-75-114, et seq.
2. Beginning April 3, 2023, and hereafter, unless and until this Executive Order is modified or repealed, all Executive Branch agency directors are authorized to grant emergency paid leave, not to exceed forty (40) hours, to those agency employees who suffer the loss of, or substantial damage to, their principal place of residence due to the tornadoes, high winds, rain, flooding, or other severe weather conditions. Such emergency leave, if granted at the discretion of the agency director, shall be limited to those agency employees whose principal place of residence is located in a County that has been declared to be a disaster area by the Governor as a result of the aforementioned weather conditions.
3. All agency supervisors or directors, whose employees use this emergency paid leave, shall maintain records of the amount of emergency paid leave claimed, for use by the Department of Finance and Administration.
4. Nothing in this Executive Order shall prohibit or prevent the additional use of earned leave time by a state employee, over and above the amount of emergency paid leave granted herein.
5. The provisions of this Executive Order shall not apply to the members of the legislature, or to any employees of, or positions in, the legislative branch of Arkansas state government; the Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of the Court of Appeals, Judges of the Circuit, Chancery, or Circuit/Chancery Courts, Judges of the inferior courts, or to any employee of, or position in, the judicial branch of Arkansas state government; officers, employees, and academic personnel of state institutions of higher education; elected officers of the State and any employee of the offices of the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Commissioner of State Lands, State Treasurer; and members of the staff of multi-member boards, commissions, or committees, whether the members thereof are elected or appointed by the Governor or other authority, serve ex-officio, or are otherwise chosen; employees of the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission; provided, however, that any agency, department, board, commission, or office of state government exempted as herein above-stated may voluntarily agree to be covered by the provisions of this Executive Order.
6. If any part of this Executive Order is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder shall remain in full force and effect.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of
the State of Arkansas to be affixed on this 3rd day of April, in the year of our Lord 2023.