Legislature quits, starts over | Arkansas Blog

Legislature quits, starts over

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The regular session of the 2017 Arkansas legislature will adjourn at 1 p.m. today and then reconvene at 2 p.m. for a special session to consider several proposals from the governor — chiefly to change the Medicaid expansion to force 60,000 off the state-subsidized program and also to tap tobacco settlement money, traditionally dedicated to health uses, to put in a reserve fund to help the state's bond rating.

The governor will speak to the legislature at 2:30 p.m.

The governor wants to add a work requirement to Medicaid and dramatically reduce the point at which working poor can qualify for Medicaid  coverage, from 138 percent to 100 percent of the federal poverty level.  There's some resistance to the latter change, though the Republican-controlled legislature has generally gone along with the Republican governor's ideas.

House members may purchase exemption from the dress code today by paying $20 to  a group that helps foster children. (Coat and tie for men, normally; "business or professional attire" for women.)

PS: Before adjourning, Sen. Scott Flippo failed to muster a majority in the Senate to override Gov. Asa Hutchinson's veto of his bill to prohibit enforcement of anti-gambling rules by state ABC agents. The Alcoholic Beverage Control division has irked private clubs in Flippo's district by cracking down on their gambling machines, which are nominally illegal, whether in private clubs or not.

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What's a meeting of the legislature without some free eats and drinks?

Today, the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association will be feeding the state Senate and the Arkansas House a steak dinner at the Bevis Farm near Galloway at 6 p.m.


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