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Arkansas' budget ending year with $360M more than expected

Governor Asa Hutchinson says the state is revising its forecast for the fiscal year that ends Tuesday upward to $5.6 billion.
Credit: KFSM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas is ending its fiscal year with $360 million more than expected, with the state restoring cuts public schools and higher education had faced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Asa Hutchinson says the state is revising its forecast for the fiscal year that ends Tuesday upward to $5.6 billion.

The move means the state can restore $121 million in cuts that had been expected to the public school fund and another $42.4 million to higher education. 

Hutchinson in March announced the state faced $353 million in cuts because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Arkansas' reported coronavirus cases have risen by 520, while five more people in the state have died from the illness caused by the virus. 

The Health Department on Tuesday said at least 20,777 people have tested positive for the virus, an increase over the 20,257 reported Monday. 

The department said 5,967 of those cases are active, meaning they don't include people who have died or recovered. 

The state's hospitalizations dropped by 10 to 290. Arkansas' coronavirus cases have steadily risen since last month, when the state began allowing businesses that closed because of the pandemic to reopen.

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