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Budget hearings to begin March 6


From classrooms to healthcare, the state budget has a direct impact on our daily lives. Weeks before the legislative session begins, the General Assembly reviews the state’s current fiscal position and budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year.
Budget hearings this year will begin on March 6 and are expected to continue through March 8.
These hearings will be held in the MAC building located directly behind the Capitol. They are open to the public and will be live-streamed on our website.
The Department of Finance and Administration will present the Governor’s recommendation for a balanced budget on the first day of budget hearings which will begin at 9 am.
After the balanced budget proposal is presented, the Joint Budget Committee will then begin hearing budget requests from state agencies. Historically, the two largest categories of funding are education and human services. Higher education, public safety, and health are also top budget priorities.
The most recent general revenue report released showed net available general revenue at 5.6% below levels from one year ago. After seven months into the fiscal year, net available revenue is above forecast by $231.2 million or 6.0 percent.
All of the information gathered during these hearings will help in drafting appropriation bills.
Members can begin pre-filing bills on March 11. The Arkansas General Assembly will convene for the 2024 Fiscal Session at noon on April 10.
Fiscal Sessions began after Arkansas voters approved what would become Amendment 86 in 2008. This will be the 8th Fiscal Session held in state history.
Fiscal Sessions are held in February in years in which the primary elections are held in May. The Fiscal Sessions begin in April in years, like this year, in which primary elections are held in March.
Fiscal Sessions are limited to 30 days unless ¾ of the General Assembly agrees to a one-time extension not to exceed 15 days.
You can watch the meetings and find the daily agendas at www.arkansashouse.org.