FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gov. Hutchinson Lays Out Balanced Budget, Reflecting Savings and Emphasizing Reforms and Job Creatio
LITTLE ROCK – On Wednesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson presented his balanced budget for the next biennium in a presentation to the Arkansas Legislative Council and Joint Budget Committee.
In his remarks, Governor Hutchinson highlighted the savings already achieved by his administration through the statewide hiring freeze, agency mergers and the creative sale of the home health business unit within the Department of Health. As a result of those executive actions, the state has saved millions of taxpayer dollars while reducing state employment (mostly through attrition) by 4% – a decrease of more than one-thousand employees.
In addition to savings, the Governor’s budget underscored specific reforms, including: new funding for Pre-K that emphasizes quality over quantity; new Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Centers; a new Higher Education Funding Formula; Foster Care; and a new State Pay Plan.
Governor Hutchinson also proposed a $50 million income tax cut. This is the Governor’s second round of tax cuts in his first term, which includes his historic $100 million tax cut in 2015 – the largest income tax reduction in Arkansas history.
Governor Asa Hutchinson issued the following statement:
“As a balanced-budget state, it is important that we control spending while determining how to best fund our priorities. This balanced budget takes a responsible approach to funding our areas of need, including education, foster care and mental health, while also lessening the tax burden on Arkansans.”
“This budget meets the needs of our state, maximizes the opportunity for economic growth, and emphasizes our continued commitment to efficiencies and reform. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to iron out the final details of the budget as we approach the legislative session in January.”
You can view the Governor’s balanced budget presentation to the legislature HERE. In addition, the Governor held a media availability following his presentation to answer questions regarding his budget, which can be viewed HERE.
If you would like a copy of the Governor’s balanced budget, please contact Jake.Bleed@dfa.arkansas.gov at the Department of Finance and Administration.
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