Arkansas lawmakers pass budget, wrap up 2019 session

Fayetteville Considering Deep Budget Cuts_-6641299931919662200

Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to the state’s $5.7 billion budget and wrapped up this year’s legislative session.

The House and Senate recessed on Wednesday after both chambers passed identical versions of the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which calls for increasing state spending by $124 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1. Both chambers are expected to formally adjourn this year’s legislative session on April 24. Lawmakers convened on Jan. 14.

The House on Wednesday approved the budget bill by an 87-5 vote, while the Senate approved an identical version 35-0.

Lawmakers this year approved the governor’s proposal to cut the state’s top income tax rate and a plan to boost funding for state highways. The majority-Republican Legislature also approved several new abortion restrictions, including an 18-week ban.

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