LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas General Assembly will meet on August 8 for a special session aimed at allocating surplus money.
Governor Asa Hutchinson called the session to tackle the more than $1.6 billion surplus. Political Science Professor at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Janine Parry, said although the surplus is on the agenda, it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing that will be discussed.
Parry said before the start of the session lawmakers are trying to make their case for certain topics like abortion and teacher pay to be included.
“The governor doesn’t want to put anything on the agenda that he doesn’t think will get resolved by the legislature in a way that he’s favorable to, so what we’re watching right now is kind of a prolonged negotiation in advance of this special session,” Parry said.
Parry said significant decisions can be made during these special sessions. In the August special session, important money decisions will be made.
“Arkansas has been up in both of those revenue sources, we’re at an all-time high in terms of recent history,” Parry said. “So those revenue sources can either go back to the taxpayers or they can fund new or different services and investments, or we could just sort of hang on to the money in anticipation of potential downfalls.”