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Arkansas lawmakers eye surplus for Medicaid deficit

Posted: January 7, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.

Davy Carter, Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, and senator Michael Lamoureux speak about the upcoming legislative session. Governor Mike Beebe also spoke about the session.

— The incoming leaders of the state House and Senate say they’re interested in using money from the state’s projected surplus to avoid the program cuts proposed to fill a $138 million Medicaid shortfall.

Beebe, Carter, Lamoureux preview legislative session

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, along with senator Mike Lamareaux and Davy Carter, Speaker of the House of Representatives, preview the upcoming Arkansas Legislative Session. Among the list of important topics: Medicaid, budget cuts and educational improvements. (By David Harten)
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Incoming House Speaker Davy Carter and incoming Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux said Monday they support using more surplus money than originally proposed to avoid the cuts. The proposed cuts include removing thousands from nursing home care.

Gov. Mike Beebe has proposed putting $140 million from the state’s projected $300 million surplus toward Medicaid over the next two years. He said he’s open to talking about the idea, but was worried about using more one-time money for ongoing needs.

The three spoke at a pre-session forum hosted by the Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors Association.

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