- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have given initial approval to legislation outlining the state’s nearly $5.2 billion budget for the coming year and a plan to tap $40 million from the state surplus for various one-time needs.

The House on Tuesday approved by a 92-0 vote the proposed Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets spending priorities based on expected revenue. An identical version of the measure cleared the Senate on a 27-6 vote.

The proposal boosts funding for public schools, prisons and Medicaid, with a 1 percent cut to most other agencies.

Identical bills calling for the governor and the Legislature to split $40 million from the surplus for various projects was approved by the House on a 86-0 vote and the Senate by 33-0.

The measures head toward final votes later this week.

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