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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, center, is greeted by legislators as he walks through the House chamber at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. - Photo by AP / Danny Johnston

Gov. Mike Beebe’s office says a Republican plan to cut $21 million from the budget could result in the layoff of at least 61 state employees and could affect services ranging from firefighting to the state Crime Laboratory.

On Tuesday, the Democratic governor detailed the impact that agency heads say the budget-cutting proposal would have on their services. The GOP proposal by House Minority Leader John Burris calls for a 3 percent cut to 11 parts of the budget and a change in the way a $114 million increase for Medicaid is funded.

Action on Beebe’s $4.7 billion budget proposal has stalled over the GOP proposal. Burris said Monday that he believed agency heads were exaggerating the impact the proposed reductions would have.

The House and Senate planned to return to the Capitol on Tuesday after a long weekend.

Among the reductions Beebe warns about are 10 forensic scientists at the state Crime Lab, 39 positions at the Department of Human Services, operating hours at state parks and 15 firefighters at the Forestry Commission.

Beebe's report also warned of a possible elimination of non-mandatory programs at the Department of Human Services as well as a cut in operation expenses in programs at the Department of Environmental Quality.


State agencies miscellaneous funds


Arkansas budget breakdown


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  • charlie3704
    February 21, 2012 at 11:06 a.m.

    Pure liberal propaganda, not to mention the thousands of jobs that has been killed here in Arkansas and many millions in America by Obama. So yeah liberals lets worry about 61 government jobs when there are millions of company's going belly up and jobs with the. I guess it is ok for the little man to lose their jobs but god forbid government lose one.

  • awh
    February 21, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.

    Let's focus on the right size our government departments really need to be, and then help those who are displaced move on to other jobs: hopefully, in the private sector. Leading with this argument really does nothing to address the questions being raised by the recommended restructure and reduction in funding. Let's hear the whole story and focus on the important longer term issues, rather than just trying to create some knee-jerk reactions.

  • HawgFan
    February 21, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.

    charlie3704... You clearly are not one of the 61 people in jeopardy of losing their jobs, or you would feel a little differently.

  • Populist
    February 21, 2012 at 11:40 a.m.

    You probably want to keep the forensic scientists at the crime labs. The information on the Department of Human Sciences workers is too vague. Without some specific information on why these people need to be kept, they need to go. Spend on education and crime prevention and cut back one everything else.

  • Reason
    February 21, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.

    charlie3704: The jobs were killed before Obama took office! Bush lost 8 million jobs! Without the stimulus, states would have lost many more jobs because they could not balance their budgets. How soon people forget what kind of impact the Bush-era had on all states and the stimulus borrowed time for the states to get their house in order without raising taxes. About 1/3 of the stimulus was tax cuts, it saved manufacturing jobs, it created jobs for our infrastructure and if you think that Obama did not create jobs in Arkansas, go to: recovery. arkansas. gov/
    Furthermore, we have had 23 months of JOB GROWTH without any help from the GOP!

  • Jjackk
    February 21, 2012 at 12:27 p.m.

    Its .4% of the budget. Where are the cuts in the legislature per diem or executive operations?

  • charlie3704
    February 21, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.

    Reason says: Obama kill the drilling in the gulf of mexico...FACT...when his moratorium was put in to place, No drilling rig sat idle waiting on the moratorium to be lifted, my company and many others went over sea's to get contracts. Unfortunately the lower jobs did not go with the rigs, that meand hundreds of thousands of Americans are out of work, Now lets talk pipe line from Canada to Texas, Are you so blind you can not see the jobs he killed? Not only the jobs for the workers of the pipe line, but the jobs of the housing of the workers, the farmers for feeding the workers, the retail for clothing and the list is LONG.
    But yeah Reason says, lets keep thinking about the past presidents and not look at the one that had control the first 2 years with a senate and congress that was almost all democrat and still spent more that Bush did. Obama spent more in 3 years than Bush did in 8 years. Obama is NO leader and YES he will be out come NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!

  • charlie3704
    February 21, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.

    Begin typing here... Reason says: please quit going to the septic tank of Obama's with ladle in hand and drinking the liberal soup. It is not good for you!!!!!!

  • charlie3704
    February 21, 2012 at 1 p.m.

    Let me add one more thing......Dear Beebe: If you would get off your duff and get rid of the Illegals out of Arkansas you may keep those 61 jobs. Go to ANY walmart come Friday and look at the line sending money back to Mexico. When in FACT that money being sent back could be spent right here in Arkansas. And even though they are sending that money to Mexico they STILL get state hand outs, welfare, free health and medical, free housing. And not a one has proper ID. Get off your lazy butt and call ICE before it is out of hand or is this the liberal way? This is how you liberals intend on killing AMERICA?

  • Populist
    February 21, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.

    Well, the private sector likes what Obama is doing. Obama inherited a market at 8,000 and now it is at 13,000. Jobs are increasing and things are looking up, and you want us to believe that we should dump Obama for Romney or Santorum? No, thanks.