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Lawmakers pass budget; Highway session to start May 19

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Legislature gave final approval Thursday to a $5.3 billion budget for the next fiscal year, completing the regular business of the fiscal session — but lawmakers will have more work to do later this month in a special session on highway funding and other issues.

Day of Prayer

Kayla Derrick, left, and Erin Sanders of the New Creation Dance Company of Little Rock perform at the state Capitol on Thursday as part of a program observing the National Day of Prayer. (Special to the Arkansas News Bureau/Dale Ellis)

Medicaid issue looms over fiscal session

LITTLE ROCK — Despite receiving approval in last week’s special session, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s plan for the future of the state’s Medicaid expansion program continues to hang in the balance as legislators prepare to convene Wednesday for a session devoted to budget issues.

Purple Heart awarded posthumously to Arkansan

LITTLE ROCK — A Purple Heart ceremony held at the state Capitol on Friday took just one phone call to arrange, but the actual ceremony came only after 10 years of frustration with military bureaucracy, and 20 years after the recipient had died.

International Dialog

British Consul General Karen Bell talks with Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin in his office at the state Capitol during an Arkansas visit Thursday. Bell and Griffin said they discussed possible areas for increased economic cooperation between Arkansas and the United Kingdom, including the aerospace industry, defense and agriculture. (Arkansas News Bureau/John Lyon)