Arkansas lawmakers give first OK to state’s $6B budget bill
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers gave initial approval Monday to a $6 billion state budget for the coming year, moving closer toward wrapping up this year’s session.
The majority-Republican House and Senate approved identical versions of the proposed Revenue Stabilization law, which prioritizes state spending based on expected revenue. Final votes in each chamber are expected Tuesday before lawmakers recess this year’s fiscal session.
The bill calls for a nearly 3% increase in state spending, slightly less than the 3.3% increase Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson called for earlier this year. Most of the spending increases go toward the state’s public schools and the Department of Human Services.
The legislation passed unanimously in the 35-member Senate and by a 95-1 vote in the 100-member House.
The House also gave final approval to the state’s Medicaid budget, including a hybrid expansion program. Unlike past years, the Medicaid budget has faced little resistance in the Legislature. The measure now heads to Hutchinson’s desk.