Medicaid Expansion Plan Stalls, Legislature Recesses Until Tuesday

Apr 14, 2016

Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers are taking a long weekend after hitting a budget standoff over the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

House and Senate leaders on Thursday said they're recessing until Tuesday afternoon. The announcement follows the Medicaid budget bill funding the hybrid expansion failing to win the 27 votes needed in the Senate.

An alternate plan aimed at allowing the governor to reinstate the program if it's not included in Medicaid's budget has also stalled, and House Democrats say they don't want to vote on any other budget bills until the impasse is resolved.

Meanwhile a spokesman says Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is prepared to use his line-item veto authority if lawmakers send him a budget bill that defunds the expansion. Spokesman J.R. Davis said the governor has told Democrats and Republicans his decision. 

A vote fell two shy of the number needed to win approval in the Senate.