The 2018 Fiscal Session began in the House chamber this afternoon. Senators joined House members to hear an opening address by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The Governor detailed his budget proposal which includes increases in spending for public safety and a projected surplus of $64 million. He is requesting the majority of the surplus be set aside in a reserve fund while using the remaining portion for highways.
The Governor also told the body that he is hopeful the federal government will approve a work requirement waiver for Arkansas Works this year. Arkansas Works uses mostly federal funds to provide health insurance for low income residents.
Over the next several weeks, we will be reviewing and voting on appropriations for a projected $5.6 billion budget.
We began the session with a moment of silence in honor of our former Parliamentarian Tim Massanelli.
Mr. Massanelli served as parliamentarian for the Arkansas House from 1975 to 2012. During his time of service, 19 Speakers of the House and more than 1,000 members came to rely on his knowledge.
The House will reconvene on Tuesday at 1:30. You can watch the House proceedings live at www.arkansashouse.org.