Spending Freeze Bill Fails

February 13, 2003
Posted at: 11:34 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Legislature's Joint Budget Committee has rejected a bill that would hold future state spending to this year's levels.

The bill by Representative Phillip Jackson of Berryville would hold the line on spending with the exception of the Public School Fund, the prisons and the Department of Human Services.

Colleagues pointed out that those agencies constitute more than 90 percent of the state budget. Jackson's bill also would eliminate raises for any state employees making $50,000 a year or more.

The bill failed on a 13-to-16 vote.

The spirit of Jackson's bill is still alive, however. The Budget Committee is holding all general revenue budgets to make state department heads justify any increases in spending for the next two years.

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