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Gov. Hutchinson asks legislators to hold session on budget, coronavirus concerns

On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Hutchinson said he signed a proclamation for a special session to discuss Arkansas budget adjustments.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Hutchinson announced that he has signed a proclamation for a special session of the general assembly to convene Thursday at 1 p.m.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Hutchinson had said he would like for the general assembly to begin the special session on Thursday in order to discuss budget adjustments.

"This is important to make sure that we can continue to meet the essential needs of the state government during this emergency health crisis that we have," Hutchinson said.

He said this is an urgent action to make the budget adjustments that are needed.

He does not expect a prolonged session, but a quick meeting to solve the challenge Arkansas faces budget-wise for the future of this public emergency.

In his press conference on Monday, Hutchinson said he expected $160 million loss in revenue due to the recent layoffs and other economic factors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said due to the delayed deadline of filing for individual taxpayers, the official forecast has been revised downward to $353 million. 

RELATED: Officials say 7 people have recovered from coronavirus in Arkansas

Key facts to know:

  • 218 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 1,165 total tests
  • 947 negative test results
  • 2 reported deaths
  • All public schools are closed until April 17

RELATED: Real-time updates: 2 deaths, 218 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arkansas