Now that lawmakers know the state can opt to insure individuals eligible for a federal Medicaid expansion on private insurance exchanges, lawmakers in both parties are indicating expansion may be more likely for Arkansas.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is planning for another major highway redesign in the Little Rock area. After crews finish re-construction of the I-630/430 “Big Rock” interchange at the end of next year, contractors will bid on plans to revamp the I-30/430 interchange in southwest Little Rock. Nearly 100,000 vehicles travel through the interchange each day.
Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr is standing by his decision to sign a bill into law while Governor Mike Beebe was out of the state on business. Act 145 bans the public release of concealed handgun license records.
The bill would have become law with or without a signature since Beebe didn't veto it, but Darr wanted it put into effect immediately. Beebe says the lieutenant governor embarrassed himself by doing this. "I will be much more careful, [because] people like that you have to watch. You can't turn your back on them" he said.
Arkansas Speaker of the House Davy Carter is calling on lawmakers to make $150 million in tax cuts this session.
The Republican from Cabot visited the House Judiciary, Public Health and Revenue and Tax Committees Tuesday morning reminding each committee of the time frame of the legislative session.
In the House Revenue and Tax Committee he told lawmakers he was counting on them to wade through the over $2 billion in tax cuts they have before them in a timely manner. He said not all tax cuts will be possible.
Analysts say Arkansas would lose millions of dollars in funding for crucial education, military readiness, and job training programs, if Congress and the president don’t reach a deal to avoid the sequester.
Though the automatic spending cuts go into effect March 1, the government won’t run out of money until March 27 and that’s only if a new funding measure is not passed. Additionally, the full impact of sequestration won’t be felt by Arkansans until April 4 when furloughs begin.