Monday, February 8, 2010

Daily Radio Report

We get these on a daily basis. I thought I might try sharing them with you.

87th General Assembly

State of Arkansas

Day 1 of the 2010

Fiscal Session
February 8, 2010


This is Senator _____ reporting from the state Capitol with
news of Monday's activities in the Arkansas state Senate.

The first fiscal session in the history of Arkansas convened
on Monday, when the legislature formally introduced budget bills that
will authorize spending by state agencies next year.

The legislature will now meet every year, because the voters
of Arkansas approved a constitutional amendment that requires us to meet
in fiscal session in even-numbered years. We'll continue to meet in
regular sessions in odd-numbered years.

During this fiscal session we'll vote on several hundred
appropriation bills that authorize general revenue spending of about
$4.5 billion next fiscal year. That compares to $4.3 billion this year.

Only two non-appropriation bills are expected to come up.
One measure is the Arkansas balanced budget law, which is known as the
Revenue Stabilization Act.

The other non-budget bill sets the amount of lottery
scholarships. Students at four-year universities will get $5,000 a year,
and students at two-year colleges will get $2,500 a year.

The legislature traditionally adopts conservative spending
levels for state agencies. This year we will be even more conservative
than usual because of the difficult economy.

Medicaid spending has been growing rapidly and cannot be
sustained unless we can hold down costs.

We will have to find money to reimburse county jails for
housing state prison inmates.

Also, we will try to continue improvements in the child
welfare system, which recruits foster parents and finds parents for
children who need adoption.

The fiscal session is expected to last a couple of weeks,
which is considerably shorter than regular sessions.

From the state Capitol, this is Senator _____ wishing you a
good day.

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