Governor Hutchinson Presents Final Balanced Budget to Joint Budget Committee
LITTLE STONE – Governor Asa Hutchinson presented his final balanced budget to the Joint Budget Committee:
As Governor Hutchinson’s administration draws to a close, Arkansas is in the strongest financial position in state history with $2.78 billion in reserve funds. This includes:
- The Catastrophic Reserve Fund, created by the Governor and General Assembly of Arkansas, has a balance of over $1.2 billion. ($1,213,014,945.89).
- The General Revenue Appropriation Reserve Fund has a balance of $1.3 billion ($1,348,703,780.03).
- The restricted reserve fund has a balance of $224.3 million ($224,326,954.61)
- The Rainy Day Fund has a balance of $782,524.65.
The state built record reserves while implementing the largest income tax cuts in state history. Arkansas now has more than $2.7 billion in reserve because Arkansas saves hundreds of millions of dollars each year from these tax cuts.
Education and families
Governor Hutchinson’s proposed budget includes a $550 million increase in education funding over the next two years ($200 million in fiscal year 2024 and $350 million in fiscal year 2025).
The budget includes an additional $13.3 million for the Child and Family Services Division of the Department of Social Services to support and meet the need for foster care.
Governor Hutchinson continues his ongoing commitment to Arkansas education, law enforcement and families through this budget.
An education increase totaling $200 million in fiscal year 2024 along with a $350 million increase in fiscal year 2025 bolsters Governor Hutchinson’s proposal to establish a competitive minimum wage for teachers.
In higher education, a total of $4 million has been designated to ensure that the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff receives its federal counterpart as a land-grant university for the next two fiscal years.
Through Bills 223 and 224, Governor Hutchinson and lawmakers showed their appreciation for law enforcement officers across Arkansas earlier this year. The governor is grateful for lawmakers’ support for stipends and raises for those who protect the Arkansans every day.
Thousands of officers at the local and state level have received this well-deserved funding.
Going forward, the state police budget will increase by $1.5 million for each of the next two years.
As law enforcement officers continue to be a priority, the state must have the facilities and tools necessary to effectively manage inmates and parolees.
As a result, the Governor’s Budget will provide the Department of Corrections with an additional $5.4 million in fiscal year 2024 and $7.3 million in fiscal year 2025. In addition, community corrections will see an increase of $5.5 million for each of the next two years. .
From increasing bed capacity to funding drug courts and additional probation officers, Arkansas is an example of a state that doesn’t just talk about supporting law enforcement and protecting citizens.
For the past eight years, Governor Hutchinson has worked to support Arkansans serving in the military with our veterans. Additionally, the Governor has emphasized the importance of our military facilities and has worked with the aerospace and defense industry as it has grown significantly.
While Governor Hutchinson and the General Assembly implemented the largest income tax cuts in state history, they also took action specifically for the state’s veterans. Military retirement is no longer enforced at the state level as a result of 91st General Assembly Law 141.
The Department of the Army will receive an increase totaling $4.2 million over the next two years.
DHS Child and Family Services
This budget takes into account the essential resources needed for a large number of children and families. DHS’s Division of Child and Family Services will receive an additional $6.6 million for each of the upcoming fiscal years.
For the complete detailed budget, click on HERE.
See the presentation of the budget HERE.
The Governor’s transcript can be found HERE.
The slideshow used to present the budget can be found HERE.
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