Governor says Arkansas faces $353M shortfall due to virus

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, center, looks on as Attorney General Leslie Rutledge speaks during a press conference to provide an update about Arkansas's COVID-19 response Friday March 20, 2020, at the state capitol building in Little Rock, Ark. At left is Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The event was held at the Governor's conference room (John Sykes Jr./The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas faces a $353 million budget shortfall because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the shortfall Monday. He also said the state was delaying the filing and payment deadline for individual income taxes from April 15 to July 15. The extension mirrors a move by the federal government. Health officials say the number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas rose to 201, up from 165 on Sunday. Hutchinson says he plans to call a special session to address the shortfall. The Legislature is already set to meet April 8 for the year’s session.