Arkansas lawmakers gavel in fiscal session

    5:33 PM, Feb 10, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have opened a legislative session that's expected to focus on the future of the state's compromise plan to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.

    The House and Senate convened Monday for the state's third-ever fiscal session. It's the third slimmed-down session focusing on the state's budget under a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2008 requiring the Legislature to meet and budget annually.

    The top agenda item will be reauthorizing the state's private option program to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents. The program was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the health law.

    The program's future is in doubt after losing two key votes in the Senate.

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