DALLAS – With state tax revenues continuing their positive trend in the current fiscal year, Arkansas lawmakers are gathering in Little Rock for a special session on Medicaid.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson called the April 6 session to act on a proposal to continue and modify the state's Medicaid expansion program and a proposal to allow the state to contract with a private company or companies to manage parts of the traditional Medicaid program as a cost-saving measure.
In response to Hutchinson's call, eight state legislators plan to release a draft on of an alternative to managed care and urged Hutchinson to include it in the special session.
After acting on all items on the governor's agenda, the Legislature could decide to take up items not included in the governor's call. Such a move would require a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reported that revenues for March rose 13.3% above those of the same month last year and 11% above forecast for the month.
Net available general revenues last month totaled $413.7 million, which was up $48.6 million from March 2015 and $41.1 million above forecast, according to the report from John Shelnutt, head of economic analysis and tax research for the department.
"Net available revenues benefited from a combination of gains in gross collections and lower than expected income tax refunds," Shelnutt said. "Gross revenue collection results were above forecast in all major categories."
For the fiscal year to date, net available general revenues of $3.83 billion are $123 million or 3.3% above the same period a year ago. Nine months into the fiscal year, net available revenue is above forecast by $72.9 million, Shelnutt said.