Arkansas Lawmakers Shift Focus Back To Budget

Mar 5, 2014

Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Lawmakers are beginning to discuss how to craft Arkansas' budget bill, with debate centered on how much money should be spent from the state's surplus.

Sen. Larry Teague, co-chair of the Joint Budget Committee, says legislators are continuing to discuss which proposals should be funded by surplus funds from Arkansas' General Improvement Fund. That surplus is about $126 million, according to the state's Department of Finance and Administration.

Lawmakers are seeking about $83.3 million in total in various proposals from the state's surplus.

Teague says he hopes the state's budget bill will arrive in the Joint Budget Committee by Thursday. He says lawmakers had few disagreements about Beebe's proposed $5 billion budget.

The legislation is expected to be one of the last measures lawmakers consider before adjourning.