Arkansas to face major budget shortfall after COVID-19, Governor says

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced this afternoon the state will face a major budget shortfall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now state lawmakers will hold a special session to address it.

A $353 million shortfall has been projected for Arkansas between now and the end of the fiscal year in June.

The state was already expecting a loss of $160 million due to businesses suffering from COVID-19.

However, the state has also decided to push back the state tax filing deadline to July 15th.

Since that date is after the end of the fiscal year, it’s going to create an even greater loss in revenue this year.

“We’re not the federal government. We can’t print money and we have to balance the budget every year. Our deadline for balancing the budget is June 30th even though many of the payments are going to be extended for individuals until July 15th,” Hutchinson said.

A date has not been set for the special session yet.

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