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Weekly Updates

Legislative Budget Hearings Prepare Lawmakers for 2022 Fiscal Session

The legislature has begun budget hearings in preparation for the 2022 fiscal session, which begins on February 14. Legislators will consider the governor’s proposed balanced budget of about $6 billion for Fiscal Year 2023, which officially begins on July 1.

Education Committee Begins Adequacy Study

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Lake View school funding case.

Arkansas Medicaid Expansion to Become ARHOME, With New Rules

When the new year begins, the Arkansas Works program will have a new name and will operate under new rules.

ARHOME is the new Medicaid program.

Legislature Addresses Backlog in Medicaid Applications

In large part because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the state Human Services Department has a backlog of applications for Medicaid.

Legislature Approves Record Income Tax Cuts During Special Session

The legislature completed a three-day special session in which it passed reductions in state income taxes that will save Arkansas families and businesses almost $500 million a year when they take effect.

Legislature Convenes in Special Session to Lower Income Taxes

The legislature convened in special session on December 7 to consider reductions in individual and corporate income taxes.

State Agencies Raise Salaries of Entry-Level Employees

State agencies have experienced the same problems as many companies with difficulty hiring entry-level employees. Several agencies have contacted the state Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to report a difficulties attracting applicants for available positions. OPM put together a proposal that allows for higher entry-level salaries for all state agencies and presented it to legislators in June.

Legislature Continues Investment in Broadband Expansion

In the past couple of years Arkansas has made a massive financial commitment to expanding broadband access to all parts of state.

So far $275 million has been approved, and the Legislative Council is set to increase that investment to $400 million when it considers an additional $125 million in broadband proposals at its November meeting.

Solar power growing in Arkansas, thanks to Act 464 of 2019

Solar power is growing in popularity in Arkansas, in large part because of passage of Act 464 of 2019.

State, cities and counties to share settlement of opioids lawsuit

In a settlement of a major lawsuit, pharmaceutical manufacturers who make and market opioids will pay $216 million to Arkansas cities, counties and state government.

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