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Special Legislative Session Begins Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Posted by: rlaccmarcom on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Special Legislative Session on Governor's Arkansas Works Proposal Set for Wednesday; Fiscal Session and Another Possible Session to Follow.

By Jon Moran
Vice President of Government Affairs
Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce

Governor Asa Hutchinson has called for a special session of the Arkansas General Assembly to consider legislation that establishes the framework for the Arkansas Works Program, which is the governor’s proposal for addressing the expansion of Medicaid in Arkansas.  This special session will begin on Wednesday, April 6, and is anticipated to run through Friday, April 9.  

This will also mark the beginning of several weeks of legislative activity in Arkansas, as the regular fiscal session is set to begin on April 13. Constitutionally, a special session can last up to 45 days, with only one allowed extension of up to 60 days. It is anticipated that the governor’s Arkansas Works legislation will pass the special session with the required simple majority, but it remains to be seen how the appropriation for the program will fare in the budgetary process of the fiscal session that follows. A three-fourths majority of both houses of the legislature is required to approve the appropriation for Arkansas Works.

The state budgetary implications surrounding the passage of Arkansas Works will determine whether the governor will call another special session to tackle highway funding later this year.  The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will seek additional revenue to raise the state’s match to an anticipated $50 million dollars in new federal highway funds made available by Congress with the passage of a multi-year transportation funding bill last year. It’s about to become a truly busy April and May for the governor and the General Assembly.  

If you have questions about the special session or fiscal session coming up, please contact Jon Moran at 479-616-4484 or by email at jon@rogerslowell.com.

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