Arkansas Online: The Arkansas Senate on Tuesday narrowly approved a measure authorizing the use of $8.2 billion in state and federal funds for the state's Division of Medical Services, including spending authority for the state's Medicaid expansion, in the coming fiscal year.
With the Senate having 35 seats -- three of which are currently vacant, the votes of Republican Sens. Alan Clark of Lonsdale and Terry Rice of Waldron for Senate Bill 30 helped supporters of Arkansas Works -- which insures poor people -- get the required 27 votes for its approval, with two against it. SB30 is the appropriation for the Division of Medical Services for fiscal 2019, which starts July 1.
It's been difficult to get the three-fourths vote required in the Senate and House virtually every year since the program was created because the program has deeply divided Republicans.