New State House Speaker wants more say on budget

By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

CABOT, Ark. (AP) - The incoming speaker of the Arkansas House says he wants lawmakers to have a greater say in the state's budget between the end of the regular session and the start of the fiscal session.

But new House Speaker Davy Carter said in an interview with the Associated Press he doesn't know whether the Legislature can find middle ground on a proposal to expand Medicaid.

Carter, who's from Cabot, will be the first Republican House speaker in 138 years. He was elected speaker in November in a surprise challenge to fellow Republican Rep. Terry Rice of Waldron.

Carter said he believes House members have moved on from the contentious vote and are ready to focus on the Medicaid shortfall, a proposal to expand the program and competing ideas to cut state taxes.

COMPLETE COVERAGENew State House Speaker wants more say on budget (Dec. 27)Legislature likely to stay past Friday deadline (April 18)Ark. lawmakers handed bill outlining $4.9B budget (April 19)Ark. lawmakers advance $4.9B budget bill (April 22)Arkansas Legislature wraps up 100-day session (April 23)