After eight years with a Democrat at the helm of the executive branch, Republican Asa Hutchinson’s agency director appointments are also an opportunity to shape the next four years of business in the state.
Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is warning lawmakers that state employees won't receive a pay raise next year and many state agencies will see their budgets reduced if some tax cuts approved last year take effect.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wants to defend in court a $5 million tax break the Legislature gave the natural gas industry after the state's top finance official said the exemption was unconstitutional.
Arkansas finance officials say nearly 600 state employees are on furlough because of the federal government shutdown, but say that number could change as they double check figures with individual agencies.
Arkansas budget officials said Wednesday the number of state employees off work because of the federal budget impasse was at 685 - down by one-third as agencies found financial resources that kept workers on the job despite a partial shutdown of the federal government.
The state finance office says Arkansas' revenues in November were slightly ahead of last year's figures and their expectations, numbers that officials say show the state can't afford more in tax cuts next year.