LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers are taking up a package of bills aimed at averting health insurance rate hikes of up to 50 percent that are otherwise set to hit thousands of teachers next year.

The House and Senate were scheduled to meet Friday morning for the second day of a special session called to address the teacher insurance premiums. Gov. Mike Beebe called the session after he was assured by legislative leaders there were enough votes to pass the measures.

The proposals being considered include using $43 million in state surplus money this year and proposals to redirect money in future years to help the insurance program. The moves will reduce the premium increases to 10 percent.

The package also includes long-term changes for the insurance program.