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Arkansas lawmakers to shift focus back to budget

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 5, 2014 at 7:18 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are shifting their focus back to the state budget now that the so-called private option bill allowing residents to continue buying private health insurance using federal Medicaid dollars has passed the House.

Lawmakers say discussions about the Revenue Stabilization Act that prioritizes state spending should begin Wednesday since the 100-member House passed the private option bill Tuesday.

Democratic Sen. Larry Teague of Nashville, the co-chair of the Joint Budget Committee, says he expects budget talks to be brief and take no more than two days, while Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Michael Lamoureux said he expects a vote on a budget bill next week.

The legislation is expected to be one of the last measures lawmakers consider before adjourning the fiscal session that began in February.

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