Weekly Column from the Arkansas House of Representatives 2-11-22

On Monday, the 93rd General Assembly will convene at the State Capitol to address the budget for Fiscal Year 2023.

Fiscal Sessions began after Arkansas voters approved what would become Amendment 86 in 2008. This will be the 7th Fiscal Session held in state history.

Governor Asa Hutchinson is expected to address the General Assembly shortly after we convene at noon, February 14.

During the address, the Governor will outline his budget proposal. Previously, in budget hearings the Governor recommended a 3.3% increase in spending. His proposal included increases for state police salaries and more funding for services for Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Governor has also said publicly he will be asking the legislature to direct a portion of surplus funds for a state prison expansion. 

The latest revenue report from the Department of Finance and Administration shows net available general revenue at $275 million or 7.1% above this time last year.

All appropriation bills will be heard first in the Joint Budget Committee. That committee has spent several weeks reviewing agency proposals.  

By Friday afternoon of this week, more than 90 budget bills had been filed in the House. And more than 80 bills had been filed in the Senate.

If the General Assembly is to take up any bills outside the scope of the budget, they must first have a 2/3 vote in both chambers for a resolution describing the bill. The deadline for those resolutions is by the end of the first day of the session, February 14.

The deadline for filing both appropriation bills and non-appropriation bills is Monday, February 28.

Amendment 86 states that each Fiscal Session shall not exceed 30 days. The Fiscal Session may be extended one time, however, for no more than 15 days, by a ¾ vote of both the House and Senate.

We will continue to update you during this upcoming session. You can find the daily agendas and watch the meetings live at www.arkansashouse.org.

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