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Sanders tells agencies to keep trim budget requests

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(The Center Square) – Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said any general fund budget requests for the 2025-2027 biennium budget must be made by an executive recommendation.

In a letter to cabinet secretaries and agency heads on Thursday, the governor said the two-year spending plan would focus on the Arkansas Forward initiative in the focus areas of IT, state procurement, real estate, personnel, organizational effectiveness and vehicle assets.

Any non-general fund requests can be made through the agency request process, she said.

“Please work to reduce costs throughout your agency while still delivering quality services to the people of Arkansas,” Sanders said in the letter. “Agencies should not request any personnel changes. Personnel items will be reviewed as part of the Arkansas Forward initiative. Any personnel changes will be done exclusively through Executive Recommendation.”

The governor said the agency leadership should “deliver on our shared promises to the people of Arkansas.”

“I know all of you are Arkansas taxpayers. Do you believe your tax dollars are spent wisely? Are there any programs from which you do not get your money’s worth? You should put your focus on any such programs during this budget process,” Sanders said.

Lawmakers approved a $6.3 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2025 last month. It is 1.76% higher than last year’s budget.

The most significant increase is $2.4 billion for education, with an additional $65.7 million going to Education Freedom Accounts.

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