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Arkansas lawmakers look at $5 billion budget bill

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 7, 2014 at 7:20 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are taking their first look at legislation outlining the state's $5 billion budget for the coming year.

The Joint Budget Committee on Friday was expected to consider the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, the state's budget bill for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The legislation priorities state spending based on expected revenue.

Finalizing the budget legislation moves lawmakers closer toward wrapping up this year's session next week. The session began in February and had been dominated by debate over the future of the state's compromise Medicaid expansion.

The House on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation reauthorizing the "private option" plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

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