House delays vote on budget

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Governor Mike Beebe calls a majority of the GOP proposed $21 million in cuts to the budget, “non-starters.”

The House again delayed action on Tuesday on a resolution to move a budget plan to the Senate over concerns House GOP members would vote it down.

Democrats hold a 54-46 advantage in the House, but resolutions require a 2/3 or 67 of 100 members voting to pass.

House minority leader Representative John Burris (R-Harrison) says he met with Beebe on Tuesday morning and feels there is room for compromise.

“He made some suggestions, we made suggestions,” Burris told reporters Tuesday. “It’s time to step back and reassess from there.”

Beebe says proposed cuts to the forestry commission, health department, state crime lab, and economic development are areas that simply can not afford to be cut.

And he added support for Burris’ ideas may be waning among his colleagues.

“The overwhelming majority of Republicans in the Senate are not going along with this,” Beebe says. “And a significant number of Republicans in the House appear, based on conversations with me, not to be in favor of this.”

The House will reconvene on Wednesday where the budget resolution could be voted on.

The general assembly is set to wrap up the fiscal session on March 2.

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