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Arkansas governor looking at possible special session

April 22, 2022 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday that he was considering calling a special session of the Arkansas Legislature later this year after finance officials said they expected the state’s surplus to hit $1 billion by the end of the year.

Hutchinson, a Republican, said he was weighing proposals to use the surplus money to expand broadband access in the state, address additional school facility funding needs because of inflation and further tax relief.

Hutchinson said he did not expect to decide whether to call a special session until mid- to late summer at the earliest and would depend on whether there was consensus behind any proposals.

The governor did not elaborate on how much money he was considering for each proposal. The state’s surplus for the fiscal year, which began July 1, is approaching $500 million, state finance officials said earlier this month.

Hutchinson said the session might also address the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected ruling on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. That ruling could overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade.