Beebe signs lotto scholarships, spending bills

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law legislation setting the amounts of lottery-funded scholarships and the state's $4.5 billion spending plan for the coming year. Beebe signed the measures Friday, a day after lawmakers recessed the first-ever fiscal session.

Under the new law, the state will begin awarding $5,000 scholarships to four-year schools and $2,500 scholarships to two-year schools using net lottery proceeds. Arkansas began selling lottery tickets in late September and is expected to raise $112 million in the first year for the scholarships.

The spending plan is laid out in the Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets spending priorities based on expected revenues. It restores most of the $206 million in budget cuts the state has made over the past year.

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