LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas lawmakers have given initial approval to legislation outlining the state’s proposed $5.6 billion budget for the coming year.
The House on Thursday approved by an 87-5 vote the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which calls for a nearly $173 million increase in state spending for the year beginning July 1. The Senate approved an identical version of the measure by a 28-3 vote Thursday. Both chambers are expected to give final approval to the measure on Friday.
The proposal mirrors the budget proposal Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson unveiled in January, with most of the funding increase going toward the state’s Medicaid program. It also calls for setting aside $64 million in projected surplus money for highway needs and future tax cuts.