Arkansas Legislature Adjourns


On May 9, 2016, the Arkansas Legislature adjourned its biennial fiscal session after passing a $5.3 billion 2016-17 general fund budget, up 2.8 percent over 2015-16.

The Public School Fund, which provides funds for elementary and secondary schools, the state library and the Department of Career Education Services, receive $2.2 billion, up 1.1 percent. Funding to the state Department of Education, which includes the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, increases 58.8 percent to $5.4 million.

Funding for postsecondary educational institutions is flat. Four-year institutions receive $588.1 million, two-year institutions receive $111.9 million, and technical colleges receive $33.5 million.

The governor plans to call legislators back for a special session on highway funding and other issues in May. More information on the state budget in Arkansas and final actions in other SREB states will appear in upcoming editions of Legislative Report.