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Arkansas increases funds for education, health care, and defense through a legislative package



Arkansas – A set of laws that were signed into law on Saturday will support Arkansas’s health, education, and defense budgets.

“I’m proud to deliver investments to Arkansas that support growth and development as well as improve the quality of life for Natural State residents.” Said Senator John Boozman. “These bills will enhance health services access and workforce capabilities to deliver quality care in addition to expanding our state’s national defense contributions.”

The state’s several new public health initiatives and facilities will be partially funded by the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills. A detailed list from a news release from Boozman is shown below.

• Invests $5 million for a Women and Infants Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to coordinate programs across the state to reduce infant mortality.
• Boosts dental health education in Arkansas with $15 million to support the Lyon College School of Oral Health and Dental Medicine in Little Rock.
• Invests in future generations of nurses with $15 million to construct a new nursing school building at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
• Provides $12 million for an Allied Health Building at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain for instructional purposes, lab simulations and community health.
• Allocates $10 million for a medical education building to accommodate allied health and nursing programs at Northwest Technical Institute.
• Promotes student career development at Shorter College with a $2 million investment in a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Center.
• Funds $8 million for facilities and equipment at UAMS to improve digestive disease care in the state, with a focus on cancer detection.
• Enhances cancer screening capabilities in underserved areas by providing $4 million to purchase three mobile vans fitted with cancer screening equipment to access geographically difficult and underserved regions.
• Strengthens the UAMS milk bank with $3 million.
• Supplies $6 million to support the expansion of the Arkansas State University-Mountain Home healthcare education facility to develop the medical workforce.
• Allots $5 million for the University of Arkansas – Little Rock MidSOUTH Arkansas Youth Drug Use Reduction Program.
• Delivers robust funding for the National Institutes of Health with increased funding for the National Cancer Institute.
• Funds the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant and the Healthy Start Initiative to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.
• Maintains vigorous funding for Community Health Centers to increase access to health care across Arkansas.
• Increases funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to support families in need.
• Expands funding for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program to support training pediatric providers and bolster the pediatric care workforce.
• Maintains funding for TRIO programs to assist first-generation, low-income students in attending college.
• Increased funding for Career and Technical Education state grants to bolster the Arkansas workforce.
• Invests in the Fulbright Program, the United States’ flagship educational exchange program created by former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright that facilitates global connections.
• Funds global health and nutrition programs to respond to and eradicate malaria, polio and other diseases and invests in efforts to prevent worldwide hunger.
• Educates future generations about the men and women who serve in our nation’s uniform by supporting the Veterans History Project.

$207.9 million from defense funding in Arkansas will go to the Ebbing Air National Guard Base, supporting pilot training in Fort Smith.

Boozman provides a list of national security and government appropriations in Arkansas below.

• Fully funds a 5.2 percent pay raise for servicemembers, the largest increase in decades.
• $207.9 million for Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith to continue building on last year’s investments in modernizing the base to be a premier pilot training center in the U.S. This is in addition to the $83 million allocated for construction in the MilCon-VA bill signed into law March 9.
• $53.3 million to bolster production and capacity for the manufacturing of vital munitions for the Department of Defense (DoD) in Camden.
• $9.5 million to support production and manufacturing of special chemical warfare protection outfits and special munitions at Pine Bluff Arsenal.
• $36 million for the University of Arkansas to partner with DoD on research efforts.
• $10 million to develop the Army’s next-generation squad weapon system.
• $47 million to support the workforce at Red River Army Depot.
• $8 million to support training at Razorback Range.
• $51 million to fund multiple defense initiatives critical to enhance our national security within the state.
• Invests $1 billion for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment modernization fund.
• Supports Department of State efforts to strengthen its cybersecurity protocols and procedures to defend it from potential cyberattacks from foreign adversaries and other bad actors.
• Provides $2.75 million in DoD grant opportunities to support security and fire protection at the former Army and Navy Hospital in Hot Springs.
• Encourages the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide more time for public input on rulemakings.
• Ensures SEC rules incorporate robust economic analysis.
• Requests the SEC Inspector General to audit the rulemaking process.
• Requires the General Services Administration to save taxpayer money by adopting criteria to better manage extreme weather risks for public buildings.
• Supports regulation and oversight of the contact lens marketplace.
• Provides $8 million for North Little Rock to improve stormwater drainage capabilities and prevent flooding.
• Delivers $4.7 million to Heber Springs for stormwater improvements to prevent damage from flash flooding.
• Delivers adequate funding for economic growth and rural community development.


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