Private Option Clears Senate, Stalls in House

By David Goins

Published 02/21 2014 07:26AM

Updated 02/21 2014 07:27AM

The Arkansas Senate during the 2014 fiscal session
The Arkansas Senate during the 2014 fiscal session
Little Rock -- The Arkansas House failed to approve a $915 million appropriation for Medicaid expansion on Thursday just hours after the Senate approved an identical proposal.

The House for a third consecutive day failed to fund the "private option" by a 72-25 vote, three shy of the amount needed for passage.

Spending bills require a 75-percent majority in both chambers.

The Arkansas Senate approved the private option 27-8 on Thursday morning.

House speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, says the House will vote Friday and that eventually the spending bill will pass.

Carter maintains he will not allow a minority of legislators try to make substantive changes to legislative policy during a session dedicated to approving annual budgets for state government.

"To carry it on in this gamesmanship manner, with all the while knowing the bill is eventually going to pass is not the way a fiscal session is supposed to go," Carter says. "Enough is enough."

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