Arkansas Legislature OKs Budget, All But Adjourns

Apr 3, 2017

Arkansas legislators have wrapped up the bulk of their work for the 2017 regular session. They'll come back in early May to tie up loose ends, and it is expected that they'll also have a special session in May to deal with changes in the state Medicaid program.The Legislature on Monday approved a $5.5 billion budget for the state.

The proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets spending priorities based on expected revenue, was approved in the Senate on a 23-0 vote Monday. The House later approved an identical version of the bill by an 87-5 vote.

The measure calls for increasing state funding by $163 million, with most of that money going to the state Department of Human Services. It also calls for increasing funding to public schools and prisons, while setting aside nearly $16 million for the state's rainy day fund.

The Senate passed the rainy day fund 26-2 Monday, and the House approved the fund on a 92-2 vote.