Arkansas Governor Proposes $6B Budget for Coming Year


Arkansas Governor Proposes $6B Budget for Coming Year
In this file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during a COVID-19 briefing at the State Capitol on Jan. 5, 2021. (Lance Turner)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday proposed a $6 billion budget for the coming fiscal year that includes increases for public schools. services for the developmentally disabled and higher starting salaries for state troopers.

The Republican governor, who leaves office next year year due to term limits, detailed a proposal calling for a 3.3% increase, or $194.6 million, in spending. Hutchinson said under the proposal the state is expected to build a $174 million surplus during the fiscal year.

Hutchinson's proposal calls for a 3%, or $69.6 million, increase in funding for the state's public school fund. The governor said he's also requesting $37.6 million to reduce the waitlist for services for the developmentally disabled and $7.6 million to raise entry salaries for state troopers.

The governor laid out the plan weeks after he and the Republican Legislature approved the largest tax cut plan in state history, which will eventually cost the state nearly $500 million a year.

Lawmakers are to convene Feb. 14 for a legislative session focused primarily on the state budget.

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