Special session to be called due to budget shortfall; state to order barbershops, beauty shops, nail salons, and more to “cease operations” temporarily

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At today’s statewide briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that due to the expected financial hit Arkansas will take from COVID-19, a special session will soon be called to address the expected budget shortfall of $353 million by June 30.

The briefing also yielded other state financial news. Hutchinson said the individual tax filing and payment deadline will now be July 15, just like the recently-moved national deadline, but in Arkansas, April 15 will still be the deadline for those making estimated payments and corporate filings.

Officials also announced a directive that barbershops, beauty shops, nail salons, tattoo shops, and massage therapy businesses temporarily cease operations until further notice. The directive is expected to go into effect tomorrow.

And the state has allocated $30 million to make a recent order of more personal protective equipment (PPE), the governor said.

Health officials said the current number of positive tests in Arkansas stands at 174 in 33 counties, only up nine cases from yesterday — the smallest single-day increase in positive cases for several days.

The state is wrapping up testing in three nursing homes that have been hit with the coronavirus, and officials noted they were encouraged by the large number of negative results being reported.

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The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features two new interviews with Sen. James Sturch and state Rep. Stu Smith. Download the free White River Now app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.

We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air, online, and through the White River Now app on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ and on White River Now’s Facebook page.

Layout 1Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZWhite River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLEOutlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at news@whiterivernow.comBe sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the  White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

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