Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a package of bills aimed at reducing health insurance rate increases for thousands of teachers next year and laying groundwork to overhaul that insurance program.
The House and Senate approved the bills shortly after midnight, wrapping up a marathon special session that began Thursday afternoon to address the premium increases. The measures now head to Governor Mike Beebe, who plans to sign them into law as soon as Monday.
The proposals include a plan to tap $43 million in surplus money this year for the insurance program and redirect state money in subsequent years. The bills will lower the premium increases to 10 percent.
Lawmakers also approved a series of long-term changes to the insurance program.