State Budgets 2012: Arkansas



To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Biennial (regular session in 2011)
  • Legislative Session for 2012: Convened February 13, 2012, Adjourned March 9, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Biennial (for example, FY 2012 & 2013)

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers

Budget News and Information: 2012

2/22/12: AR House, Senate Advance Budget

After a week of wrangling over state spending, legislators today advanced matching House and Senate resolutions to allow consideration of a state budget for the next fiscal year.The House version of the measure passed in a 91-1 vote after House Minority Leader John Burris, R-Harrison, spoke in support of it on the House floor. The resolution had been held up for a week because of negotiations over Burris’ proposal to cut $21 million from Gov. Mike Beebe’s $4.7 billion proposed budget for 2012-13.

Read More: Arkansas News Bureau

3/1/2012: Budget Session Likely to End Soon, Medicaid Shortfall Still at Issue

The House approved legislation today encompassing a $4.7 billion budget for next fiscal year, over the complaints of some members that the measure avoids action now toward addressing a looming Medicaid shortfall. The 55-25 vote on House Bill 1163, with the identical Senate-approved version already on the House calendar, kept lawmakers on pace to complete a new state budget today, though some legislative leaders suggested there was a remote chance that continuing talks on non-budget matters could extend the fiscal session into the weekend.
3/9/2012: Legislature Adjourns Fiscal Session
Arkansas legislators have adjourned the fiscal session. State lawmakers passed a $4.7 billion budget, but failed to get non-budget items off the ground during their three-week session. 
Read More: THV 11 News
3/20/2012: State Highway Officials Say Millions Lost from Large Truck Tax Exemptions
Arkansas state highway officials are trying to find new revenue to replace expected sales tax revenue from the sale of new large trucks and trailers. They claim up to $4 million will have to be cut from road budgets to make up for the loss.
Read More: KARK 4 News
4/4/2012: Arkansas Governor Opposes Ballot Measure to Increase Natural Gas Severance Taxes
Governor Mike Beebe said he is likely to oppose a ballot initiative that would increase the severance tax on natural gas production in Arkansas. The proposed ballot measure would increase severance taxes to 7 percent from the current structure where wells are now taxed between 1.25 percent and 5 percent based on the value of the extracted gas.
4/13/2012: State Officials Not Counting on Legal Ruling to Fill Medicaid Budget Gaps
A Pulaski County judge recently fined Johnson and Johnson and a subsidiary $1.2 billion after a jury found the companies allegedly downplayed risks associated with an antipsychotic drug. Under Arkansas law, the fine must go toward the state's Medicaid Trust Fund that faces a $400 million shortfall starting in July 2013. State leaders are concerned there could be a long appeals process and that the funds could not be counted on as legislators expect the Medicaid debate to dominate their next session.
4/19/2012: House and Senate Committees to Review Exemptions in Arkansas's Tax Code
The leadership of both the House and Senate Revenue and Taxation Committees met to review the appropriateness of 103 exemptions written into Arkansas's tax laws. The meeting was the first of several planned before the next legislative session where tax reform is expected to be a major agenda item. 
Read More: Arkansas Business

Budget News and Information: Previous Budget Cycles

6/16/11: Arkansas may bundle Medicaid pay

Arkansas Medicaid Director Eugene Gessow is aiming to transform the state's Medicaid program, starting by re-evaluating the costs to physicians and hospitals of providing quality health care. Gessow wants to examine not just Medicaid spending but all health care spending in the state -- public and private -- to find a benchmark for Medicaid payment.

Read more: American Medical News

4/26/11: Arkansas to have a $2.5million rainy day fund

With Arkansas being one  of few states to enter the 2011 year without deficits, the state will be able to fund $4.5million in projects put on hold and have another $2.5million in reserve to be used at the Governor's discretion

Read more: BusinessWeek

2/22/11: Arkansas Gov. Beebe agrees to tax cuts on cars, utilities

Gov. Mike Beebe said Monday he's prepared to find room in his proposed budget for tax cuts on used cars and on manufacturers' utility bills after a Senate panel advanced the proposals along with Beebe's call to cut Arkansas' sales tax on groceries.

Read more: The Commercial Appeal