Arkansas lawmakers give final approval to $5.2B budget bill, plan to tap surplus

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a nearly $5.2 billion budget that boosts money for public schools, Medicaid and prisons while cutting most other state agencies' funding by 1 percent.

The House on Wednesday approved by an 82-1 vote the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets spending priorities based on expected revenue. The Senate approved an identical version of the measure by a 29-4 vote.

The proposal calls for restoring a capital gains tax break that was scaled back earlier this year by cutting various grants for various programs, including libraries and community health centers.

Lawmakers also approved legislation to tap the state's surplus for various projects, with the House approving it on a 78-0 vote and the Senate by a 30-0 vote.

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