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Arkansas governor signs bills creating $173M COVID-19 fund

Arkansas News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, right, speaks along with Larry Walther, middle, Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration and Jake Bleed, state budget director, Monday March 23, 2020 in Little Rock about the state’s budget shortfall during a daily press conference in Little Rock. Arkansas faces a $353 million budget shortfall because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. (Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ governor has signed into law a measure creating a $173 million fund to combat the coronavirus and to address a budget shortfall the state faces because of the outbreak.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the legislation early Saturday moving the state’s surplus into the newly created “COVID-19 Rainy Day Fund.” The governor can access the fund with the approval of legislative leaders.

Hutchinson signed the legislation shortly after the House and Senate approved the legislation in a midnight meeting.

The votes cap a special session Hutchinson called in response to a $353 million shortfall projected because of the pandemic.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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