Arkansas lawmakers wrapped up a three-day special legislative session that lasted less than 36 hours.
The rare session aimed to make short-term and long-term fixes to the public school employee insurance fund, which was facing a $53 million deficit.
In the short run, lawmakers plugged $43 million from the state’s $169 million surplus into the fund to help close the gap. The remaining difference will be largely made up by a 10% premium increase for teachers and other public school employees utilizing the insurance plan.
Major long-term reforms included a restructuring of the oversight board that reviews the insurance plans’ benefits. Lawmakers will reshape the board to have more representation from teachers and members with a background in employee and insurance benefits.
Lawmakers convened on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. to start the special session. They conducted the majority of their work on Friday and met shortly after midnight to take final votes. The state constitution requires a minimum of three days for a special legislative session.