Local & Regional News
1:20 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

2015 Arkansas Legislative Session Gets Underway

Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice Jim Hannah swears in Senators.
Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice Jim Hannah swears in Senators.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

  Arkansas lawmakers have begun the 2015 legislative session, facing questions over the future of the state's compromise Medicaid expansion and a push to cut income taxes by $100 million a year.

The House and Senate convened Monday for the 90th General Assembly. Republican Asa Hutchinson is set to be sworn in Tuesday as the state's 46th governor.

The session is expected to be dominated by debate over the "private option," which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. The program was crafted as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion envisioned under the federal health overhaul.

Hutchinson plans to announce later this month whether he backs continuing the program. He's also said he wants the Legislature to move quickly on his middle class tax cut proposal.