A legislative question: Why have a special session at all? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A legislative question: Why have a special session at all?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 7:10 AM

If Gov. Asa Hutchinson decides today to remove managed care for some Medicaid programs off the special session agenda this week, I have one question:

Why have a session at all?

I know. They will vote on his rebranded version of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. But it's mostly a show vote. The real vote on that measure comes in the fiscal session on the appropriation bill, which traditionally has required a 75 percent vote. Nobody ever thought they lacked a majority vote on the outlines of the "Arkansas Works" version of Obamacare. It has been reliably supported by a majority of the legislature, with unanimous Democrats being the bedrock. It was always the bitter-enders on the Pluto-right of the Republican Party that made the appropriation passage a hard fight.

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