LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Legislature is set to begin its regular session with Medicaid considered the driving issue and Republicans in control of both houses of the general assembly.
Lawmakers gather in Little Rock Monday for the start of the 89th General Assembly. The session is also the last regular session for Gov. Mike Beebe — who is prohibited by term limits from running for re-election.
The GOP has the majority in both the House and Senate for the first time in 138 years and lawmakers face an immediate question of how to fill an estimated $138 million shortfall in the state's Medicaid budget.
State Human Services officials have blamed the shortfall partly on the program's growing costs and a reduction in the federal matching rate tied to the state's per-capita income.