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Increasing strokes and a possible special session


A possible special session looms

A special session could be on the horizon for Arkansas lawmakers. During an interview with KARK Channel 4’s Capitol View, Sen. Jonathan Dismang, a Republican from Beebe, said it is becoming clear that there will be a special session before the year ends. Senator Dismang, who is co-chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, said the focus of the special session would be lowering the corporate and income taxes. He emphasized that the budget surplus is not the motivation for the tax cuts.

“We will not cut taxes based on existing surpluses," Dismang said. "We cut those based on forecasts and anticipated future revenues. So, it's not because of surplus, but I do think it's because of the economic conditions we are having. It's anybody's guess where we go from here, as far as a recession or if it's a soft landing or harsh or whatever it may be.”

Sen. Clarke Tucker, a Democrat of Little Rock, agreed with Dismang that tax cuts should be based on state revenue forecasts and not budget surpluses. However, Tucker said he disagrees with having a special session this year. He said he would prefer lawmakers to wait until the next legislative session in 2025 to adjust tax rates.

Strokes on the rise in U.S.

Nearly 30 Arkansans are hospitalized due to a stroke each day, according to numbers from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. A recent study from the American Heart Association shows that intracerebral hemorrhage stroke is on the rise in the U.S. - with incidents among those aged 18 to 44 increasingly at risk. Dr. Sheryl Martin-Schild is with the Louisiana Emergency Response Network in New Orleans and is part of a national campaign to make younger people more aware of common stroke symptoms.

She said risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, diet and inactivity are some of the health factors that could contribute to a stroke. She says the acronym "BE-FAST" is an easy way for people to identify if they may be experiencing a stroke.

Meghan McKee is a stroke survivor working on the national campaign. She had a stroke when she was 31 years old and says BE-FAST, helped save her life.

For more information, you can visit their website.

Arkansas medical marijuana sales increasing

Sales of medical marijuana in Arkansas continue to increase. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration reports sales for the first seven months of 2023 are up more than 4.5% compared to the same time in 2022. Arkansans spent more than $164 million dollars on medical marijuana from January through July this year.

Earlier Razorback football due to heat

Expected high heat and humidity are moving Saturday’s Razorback football game up three hours. The Razorbacks will now kick off against Western, Carolina and Little Rock at noon on Saturday.

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Daniel Caruth is KUAF's Morning Edition host and reporter for Ozarks at Large<i>.</i>
Matthew Moore is senior producer for Ozarks at Large.
Kyle Kellams is KUAF's news director and host of Ozarks at Large.
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