The Arkansas Legislature will convene next month as part of their biennial session. They are faced with a unique situation, a huge budget surplus.
There has been much discussion about what to do with these 800 plus million dollars of extra revenue. As we are all aware... school funding will most likely take the top spot in regards to disbursement of the money.
Another topic tossed around has been the elimination of the grocery tax. We strongly agree that the tax should be eliminated, however we agree with Governor Elect Beebe in that the tax should be phased out and not eliminated all at once.
If we phase out the tax we can get a true picture of how it will impact state resources.
Although Arkansas is blessed to be in a situation where we have significant resources on hand that has not always been the case, and may not be the case in the future. We encourage our elected officials to be smart and put away some of that money in a rainy day fund to draw on when things are not as rosy.
We also ask that the representatives from Region 8 band together to use their combined clout to secure additional funding to go towards construction of a four-lane connector from NE Arkansas to Little Rock. NE Arkansas is the only portion of the state with no four lane access to the state capitol. That needs to change.
Bills are already being filed and that process will only increase as we head into the New Year. You can count on KAIT to keep you up to date on the activities in Little Rock when the session begins next month.
We'll certainly be watching to make sure our elected officials manage this budget surplus in a responsible manner.