Share |

Governor Beebe Calls Special Session to Address Public School Employee Health Insurance and Jail Overcrowding

LITTLE ROCK - Governor Mike Beebe issued a call Tuesday to bring the Arkansas General Assembly into a special session to provide funding that will open more inmate beds and improve the viability of the Public School Employee Life and Health Insurance Program. The special session will begin on Monday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m.

The call includes bills that, if approved, will do the following:

- Provide ongoing revenue to open about 600 additional beds in Department of Correction facilities and the Pulaski County Jail;

- Eliminate part-time employees from eligibility to participate in the Public School Employee Life and Health Insurance Program; and

- Adjust the composition of the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board and its subcommittees, modify the definition of and require verification of “dependents,” require that some participants establish health savings accounts, require the Board to identify FICA savings within districts for potential employee premium assistance, and limit coverage for the treatment of morbid obesity and bariatric surgeries.

The above changes to the Public School Employee Life and Health Insurance Program resulted from study and analysis undertaken by a legislative task force created for this specific purpose last October during another special session.