The Latest: Arkansas Legislature OKs budget, adjourns - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

The Latest: Arkansas Legislature OKs budget, adjourns

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on the end of the Arkansas Legislature's regular session (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

Arkansas legislators have wrapped up the bulk of their work for the 2017 regular session. They'll come back in early May to tie up loose ends, and it is expected that they'll also have a special session in May to deal with changes in the state Medicaid program.

Before leaving, the lawmakers approved a $5.5 billion state budget and also a rainy day fund.

A last-hour effort to impose sales taxes on online purchases failed. The bill would have required that companies without a physical presence in Arkansas collect sales taxes if they had more than $100,000 in annual sales or at least 200 transactions in the state. One opponent said a regulation like that had to be left to Congress.

Amazon last month voluntarily began collecting such taxes. Some legislators wanted to make sure all online retailers are collecting and remitting the taxes.

12:15 p.m.

The Arkansas Legislature has approved a $5.5 billion budget for the state.

The proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets spending priorities based on expected revenue, was approved in the Senate on a 23-0 vote Monday. The House later approved an identical version of the bill by an 87-5 vote.

The measure calls for increasing state funding by $163 million, with most of that money going to the state Department of Human Services. It also calls for increasing funding to public schools and prisons, while setting aside nearly $16 million for the state's rainy day fund.

The Senate passed the rainy day fund 26-2 Monday, and the House approved the fund on a 92-2 vote.

11 a.m.

Arkansas House members say online retailers will not have to collect Arkansas sales taxes.

The proposal received only 43 votes in the 100-member House on Monday. Opponents say the bill creates a new tax and infringes on congressional power to regulate trade among the states. Supporters say Arkansas needs it to balance competition among online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.

The bill would have required companies without a physical presence in Arkansas that make more than $100,000 in annual sales or at least 200 transactions in the state to collect and remit sales taxes on those purchases.

Even without the law, Amazon last month began collecting Arkansas sales taxes on purchases made by state residents.

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