Gov. Asa Hutchinson in a news release on Tuesday said he has notified members of the General Assembly that his new budget “will fully fund state operations and will continue the priorities and momentum” of his administration.

“While we continue to fight the pandemic, today’s budget will fully fund state operations and will continue the priorities and momentum of my administration,” Hutchinson said in a letter he released on Tuesday to the Arkansas Legislative Council. “It will fund productivity within our institutions of higher education, meet the recommendations of the legislative educational adequacy committee, and see the largest increase in public school funding in more than a decade.”

The budget continues his administration’s commitment to lower taxes for working Arkansans that not only absorbs cuts from previous years but also sets aside $50 million in tax relief for Arkansans in low- and middle-income brackets, according to the news release.

The proposed budget will increase the balance in the Long-Term Reserve from $185 million to $285 million by the end of the biennium. When Governor Hutchinson took office, the reserve fund’s balance was zero, according to the news release.

The proposed budget also:

• Reduces the sales tax on vehicles that sell for less than $10,000.
• Offers a lower income-tax rate to new Arkansans.
• Continues funding for crisis stabilization units (CSU).
• Continues funding for public safety needs, including the state crime lab and police vehicles.
• Allocates $30 million in surplus funding to continue expansion of broadband.
• Reduces spending by $26.5 million through the Governor’s initiative to transform and reorganize state government.

You can view slides from the Governor’s presentation HERE.

You can watch the Governor’s presentation HERE.