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Arkansas governor calls for boosting Medicaid, schools, prison money in budget, cuts elsewhere

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is proposing boosting funding for public schools, Medicaid and prisons and cuts to most other state agencies in his $5.2 billion budget for the coming year.

State finance officials on Tuesday detailed Hutchinson's budget plan for the year that begins July 1. Hutchinson, a Republican, was sworn in earlier this month.

Hutchinson's budget calls for tapping into the state's surplus to help Arkansas' Medicaid program, school facilities and his proposal to expand computer science classes in schools. He's also proposing a 1 percent cost-of-living pay raise for state employees.

Funding for higher education institutions will remain flat under Hutchinson's proposal.

Hutchinson is detailing his budget plan as lawmakers are mulling his proposal to cut taxes for middle class residents by about $102 million a year.

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