Governor Beebe announced that he appointed Jay Shue as the first Medicaid Inspector General. He will be in charge of the Medicaid program integrity and will operate independently of DHS. Martha Schoffner, the former state treasurer, has been indicted on charges of extortion and receipt of a bribe. Governor Beebe said he will seek legislative approval from the Arkansas Legislative Council Peer Review to transfer $1.1 million in rainy day funds to Higher Education to help students pay out of state tuition at dentistry, podiatry, veterinary medicine, chiropractic,osteopathic medicine and optometry schools. Arkansas does not have these schools and so students must go out of state to get these degrees. Funding has been drastically cut for these students. So Governor Beebe has offered this one year fix and it will then be up to the legislature to come up with a fix next year. The state Highway and Transportation Department opened bids for 63 bridge and highway projects that combined will cost an estimated $109.4 million. Most of the department’s revenue comes from motor fuels taxes and from fees on heavy trucks. The money generated by gas taxes and truck taxes is not general revenue but special revenue, so called because it is designated for a specific purpose.The Highway Department has about 3,500 employees who maintain more than 16,000 miles of highways and more than 7,200 bridges in Arkansas. Last year the department’s budget was more than $1.5 billion, which came from state and federal tax revenue. June is the final month of the state Fiscal Year 2013. July begins the 2014 fiscal year. The May revenue report was encouraging about the economic growth in Arkansas. Budget officials said that the good report put the state on track to accumulate a surplus of almost $200 million. This surplus funds the rainy day fund and much of the funds is put into various agencies for grants that could fund senior centers, volunteer fire departments parks and other things across the state. A simplified explanation of this is that our state is a balanced budget state. Our economic forecasters decide on how much they forecast will come in during the year. The state then sets the budget using this forecast. If the state brings in more, then this is the surplus. If you would like to contact me please email me at bruce.holland@senate.ar.gov or call my office at 650-1884 or write me at P.O. Box 2387 Greenwood AR. 72936. Have a good week.