On March 27, the Arkansas Senate passed SB 389 by a vote of 20-5. It creates a presidential primary that is separate from the primary for other office. The primary for other office will continue to be on the fourth Tuesday in May.
Arkansas has always had its presidential primaries in May, except in 2008 when it held a separate presidential primary in February.
Another Arkansas bill, SB 765, which would have moved all primaries to March, has not advanced. If SB 765 were to become law, the effect would be to make the non-presidential independent candidate petition deadline even earlier than it already is. Already, Arkansas is being sued over the April deadline, but SB 765 would have put that deadline in late January or early February.
Because SB 389 seems likely to pass, it is now more likely that Mississippi and Alabama will pass pending bills that move their primaries (for all office) from March 8 to March 1. The three states mentioned in this post, plus Georgia, have long been planning to have simultaneous presidential primaries. The Georgia law lets the Secretary of State choose the date so no legislative action is needed in Georgia. Thanks to John Putnam for this news.