|Updated: 10/09/2012 7:12 pm
||Published: 10/09/2012 5:27 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Lawmakers returned to the capitol Tuesday to start putting together a plan to spend your tax dollars for fiscal year 2014.
Day one was mostly procedural but the big challenges are still ahead. Those include how best to fund public education and the state's projected $250 to $400 million shortfall in Medicaid.
"We have to balance the budget so if we have to have money for one thing we might have to cut back on something else," state senator Mary Anne Salmon says.
Salmon says the state will likely have to find another $63 million for Arkansas classrooms just to keep up with inflation.
"We have to do the adequacy whether we have the money or not,” Salmon says. The court (Lake View) said that, so we're going to have to find the money somewhere."
But those spending priorities will likely change after November 6th.
"It all depends on which party is in control," Salmon says.
Republicans are looking for control of the legislature for the first time since the 1870s. But budget co-chair Rep. Tommy Lee Baker (D-Osceola) says he thinks partisan politics will stay on the campaign trail.
"People are putting their best foot forward to try and do the right thing,” Baker says. “And we think the people that will come in January will do that as well."