Arkansas Lawmakers Convene For Session Focused On Budget

Apr 13, 2016

Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers are returning to the Capitol for a session focused on the budget, with a standoff looming over efforts to block funding for the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

The House and Senate are scheduled to convene at noon Wednesday for the fiscal session. They're meeting less than a week after lawmakers approved Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to keep and rework the hybrid expansion, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

The plan was backed by large majorities, but shy of the three-fourths support the Medicaid budget bill funding the program needs.

Hutchinson and legislative leaders have warned of significant cuts for state agencies if the expansion isn't funded. The governor said Tuesday his highway funding proposal is dead if the expanded coverage ends.