Lawmakers push to get money to Arkansans


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The Fiscal Session enters its third day at the Capitol Friday and a couple of measures taken up today that directly address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Joint Budget Committee addressed two Governor’s letters as recommendations for change in the state’s budget.

One addresses Workforce Services and the other to help get money flowing to those who are self-employed to receive assistance.

Workforce Services is getting a boost to help with staffing and the ability to continue to payout unemployment claims to the tune of over $2 billion more.

The other letter adds an amendment to House Bill 1082 for the Department of Finance and it adds a $3.8 billion appropriation for the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program.

“Where all of the individuals that would normally not be elligible under the regular state unemployment assistance,” says Charisse Childers, the Director of Workforce Services.

Lawmakers are also pushing the Divison of Workforce Services to lengthen the hours that the hotline is open to 10 hours per day and also adding Saturday to its operation.

The committee also pushed for the website to have the capability to operate 24/7.

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