The Arkansas general assembly meets every other year for a “Fiscal Session” to pass appropriation bills. These appropriation bills grant the authority for specific agencies/departments to spend taxpayer money on specific line-items. The “Fiscal Session” is the culmination and full legislative process for the budgeting and spending of taxpayer money.The fiscal session is only for appropriation bills, unlike the regular legislative session which takes place every other year in odd numbered years. The Arkansas constitution, Article 5, Section 5 lays out the details of the Fiscal Session and what can take place during the session.
This quiz will highlight the budget of the Department of Human Services (DHS), specifically the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Program Arkansas Works. The total appropriation for DHS being sought in the 2018 Fiscal Session is $9,987,092,513 for FY2019. This is an increase of $1,552,518,472, or 18.4%, over the FY2018 budget according to the BLR budget manual for DHS at Page 97 (http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/Summary%20Budget%20Manuals/2018_0710_dhs.pdf)