LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Lawmakers are expected to be busy later this month as the 2018 fiscal session kicks off in Little Rock, with legislators dealing with funding requests from state agencies.
According to state House officials, at least 200 appropriations bills have already been filed as of Friday. The 30-day session starts at noon Feb. 12 at the Capitol.
The session can be extended by a 3/4 vote in both houses for a maximum of 15 days, while appropriations bills also need a 3/4 vote in both the House and Senate to be approved before Gov. Asa Hutchinson can sign a bill into law.
As for what lawmakers will vote on, higher education, the Arkansas Department of Correction and the Arkansas Department of Human Services are expected to be the main topics.
The DHS proposal is expected to include increased funding for 65 new child welfare case workers in the state as well as increases in Medicaid. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration also got good news Friday when it was reported that available revenue in January was $583 million, about $47 million more than the same time in Jan. 2017 and nearly $42 million above forecast.