On Thursday, the House passed HB1833. This bill amends the Revenue Stabilization Act. It categorizes $6.2 billion in state spending for the next fiscal year.
The biggest increases in funding are directed to the public school fund and the Division of Correction. The budget also includes $31.7 million for Educational Freedom Accounts.
The House also passed SB578. This bill outlines one-time spending of state surplus funds. It directs $250 million to educational facilities, $330 million to correctional facilities, and $200 million to the state crime lab.
The House passed SB495, the Protect Arkansas Act. This bill makes several felony offenses ineligible for early release from prison. Those offenses include capital murder, murder in the first degree, aggravated robbery, rape, and several crimes against children.
It also classifies several other offenses as restricted release felonies. After January 1, 2025, a person convicted of a restricted release felony would have to serve 85% of their sentence before being eligible for early release.
Restricted release felonies include murder in the second degree, manslaughter, negligent homicide, battery in the first degree, and sexual indecency with a child.
The House will reconvene on Friday at 9 a.m.