January 15, 2003
Posted at: 4:30 p.m. CDT
LIITLE ROCK, Ark. -- The House and Senate made quick work of approving $3 million in appropriations to pay for the regular session Wednesday.
The appropriations for session expenses topped light agendas in both chambers on the first day of legislative votes this session. The budget panel awaited details of Governor Huckabee's proposed massive reorganization of more than 50 state agencies and boards into ten major departments before delving into serious reviews of dozens of state agency budget requests.
Budget committee members were undecided whether to run existing agency appropriations though the legislative process and amend them later to fit the reconfigured departments, or to delay individual agency appropriations until the main restructuring bill gets a hearing.
Complicating their decision was the budget committee's decision last fall to hold budgets for 2004-2005 operations to the current fiscal year pending levels rather than accept future spending based on Huckabee's proposed five-eighths-cent state sales tax.