Arkansas legislative panel advances $5.6B budget plan

March 6, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas legislative panel has advanced bills outlining a proposed $5.6 billion budget for the coming year.

The Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday endorsed identical versions of the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which calls for a nearly $173 million increase in spending for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the proposal on Thursday.

The bill mirrors the budget proposal outlined by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in January, with most of the spending increase going toward Medicaid. It also calls for setting aside $64 million in projected surplus money for highway needs and a reserve fund that Hutchinson has said will set the stage for future tax cuts.

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