LITTLE ROCK (KNWA/KFTA)— Governor Asa Hutchison has signed SB-532 into law, which requires all new schools to have water bottle filling stations, and for the stations to be installed in ongoing school additions and future renovations of any current school.
The law, Act 775, is a result of efforts by the American Heart Association to provide safe, clean drinking water for students. The legislation was also supported by Healthy Active Arkansas, The Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
We know drinking enough water can improve a child’s performance in school, making it easier for them to learn. Substituting water for sugary drinks can also help keep our kids at a healthy weight.Dave Oberembt, Government Relations for AHA in Arkansas
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), replacing caloric beverages with non-caloric ones, such as water, results in average weight losses of 2% to 2.5%, and could cut up to 235 calories per day from the average American’s diet.
“This bill is about taking care of our students and giving them the best chance at success,” said state Sen. Jane English of North Little Rock. “The passage of this legislation shows our support for students by recognizing the importance of adequate water intake and the positive impact it has on children’s cognitive performance, visual attention and fine motor skills.”
“We are thankful that the American Heart Association brought this to our attention,” said
state Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh of Van Buren. “This law promotes healthy living by requiring
modern and hygienic water dispensing systems in public schools and ensures that all
children across Arkansas have access to the benefits of proper hydration.”
The law will go into effect on July 1.