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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with House Speaker Matthew Shepherd on Thursday at the Jack Stephens Center on UALR's campus. ( John Moritz)

The Arkansas House of Representatives has gaveled into session — at a college basketball arena — to consider emergency legislation to free up funds in response to the covid-19 public health crisis.

The three-day special session is taking place at two locations. The Jack Stephens Arena at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will serve as temporary chambers for the 100-member House, while the 35-member Senate will meet in its normal chambers, with senators seated further apart to maintain social distance.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson addressed the House shortly after its session began, saying “we are determined to win over this invisible enemy.”

The House then agreed to break into a committee of the whole to consider House Bill 1001, which would create a covid-19 rainy day fund.

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