LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Governor Hutchinson has addressed the Joint Budget Committee before the fiscal legislative session that starts April 8th on Wednesday.
The Governor laid out the groundwork of a $5.8 billion budget that includes a surplus of $54 million.
Gov. Hutchinson would like to increase the long-term reserve fund, which currently has over $152 million in it, saying, “We have maintained a consistent surplus where our revenues exceed our spending and we’re building a savings account that is the first for our state.” The long-term reserve was created by the General Assembly during the 2016 Session.
The FY21 budget is a slight increase over last year but Gov. Hutchinson points out it’s the lowest increase in spending since the Great Recession with only a 1.5% increase, which is down from a 3.1% increase in FY2018.
Other points Hutchinson hit on were the $2.6 million increase to the Department of Corrections for 175 new beds in Texarkana and West Memphis and a $65 million increase in Medicaid funding.
Hutchinson also announcing that revenues for FY2020 have come in above forecasts by 3.2%. The revenues for FY2021 are still projecting to be 2.7% above FY2020.
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