Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily Radio Report


87th General Assembly

State of Arkansas


Day 9 of the 2010 Tuesday

Fiscal Session February 16, 2010


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

The Senate did some heavy lifting Tuesday. We approved more than 160 appropriation bills for dozens of state agencies, which authorize the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue.

Tuesday marked the beginning of the second week of the fiscal session. Last week most of our work was done in the Joint Budget Committee. We put the final touches on budget measures, and negotiated with the governor on how best to spend reserve funds.

This week the floodgates have opened, and the Senate will vote on several hundred budget bills. Before the session is finished, we will approve about $4.5 billion in general revenue funding.

Among the highlights Tuesday was approval of budgets for institutions of higher education. Arkansas has 10 publicly supported four-year universities and 22 two-year colleges. Also, the state supports the medical school in Little Rock, which trains physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professions.

The Senate also approved operating budgets for the state Crime Lab, the Game and Fish Commission, the Parks and Tourism Department and the Highway and Transportation Department.

Amendment 86 to the Arkansas Constitution requires the legislature to meet every year, and in even-numbered years to consider only budget bills. There is a mechanism for introducing non-budget bills, and this year we will consider legislation to set the amounts of lottery scholarships and to renew the Arkansas balanced budget law.

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

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