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A legislative panel on Wednesday approved a proposal to require the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Department of Human Services to enter into a memorandum of understanding on any arrangements or agreements that could benefit UAMS for fiscal 2019 and thereafter.

The Joint Budget Committee's Special Language Subcommittee approved an amendment proposed by Sen. Larry Teague, D-Nashville, for Senate Bill 75, which is UAMS' appropriation for fiscal 2019, which starts July 1.

Teague described his proposed amendment as "mostly feel-good language."

"I think [UAMS officials] are going to get some help outside of this," he said, adding that "there also may be more areas where they can work together to bring more revenue to UAMS."

In January, UAMS announced the layoff of more than 250 employees because of a larger-than-anticipated deficit. UAMS' general revenue budget is $86.4 million in fiscal 2018. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has proposed keeping that budget in fiscal 2019.

-- Michael R. Wickline

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