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The fiscal session of the 91st General Assembly convenes at noon today so that lawmakers can work on appropriation bills for the next fiscal year.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will address lawmakers at 12:30 p.m. in the House chamber, and then the session will adjourn for the day for a meeting of the Joint Budget Committee in Room A of the Multi-Agency Complex.

The first fiscal session was held in 2010, after voter approval of Amendment 86 to the Arkansas Constitution in 2008. Until then, state spending was approved by lawmakers once every two years in regular sessions, which start in January in odd-numbered years. With the addition of fiscal sessions, spending authority for agencies is granted annually.

Unlike regular sessions, in which all types of bills and resolutions are considered, the agendas of fiscal sessions are limited to appropriation bills unless two-thirds of the members of each chamber approve considering other types of legislation.

Fiscal sessions also are shorter than regular sessions; they are limited to 30 calendar days, unless extended for one time for up to 15 more days by a three-fourths vote of the House and Senate. The last fiscal session, in 2016, lasted 27 days. The 2014 fiscal session was 38 days, while the 2012 fiscal session was 26 days and the 2010 fiscal session was 25 days.

Metro on 02/12/2018

Print Headline: State lawmakers to tackle appropriations as fiscal session convenes

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