Ark. education, prison officials detail budgets

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas education and prison officials are detailing their budget proposals to lawmakers as they prepare for next month's legislative session.

Officials with the departments of Education, Correction and Community Correction were slated to appear Wednesday before the Joint Budget Committee. The panel is meeting ahead of the fiscal session that will convene Feb. 10.

Gov. Mike Beebe on Tuesday proposed a $5 billion budget for the coming year that calls for boosts in funding for public schools and prisons. His administration has said the budget would need to be cut if lawmakers halt the "private option" plan to expand health coverage using Medicaid funds under the federal health care law.

The private option was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment.

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