Arkansas Budget hearings are starting on October 9, 2012. During these hearings, the legislators will review state agencies’ proposed 2013 budgets. In all, the committee will review budgets for over 220 state boards, commissions, and agencies. Reviews of these budgets will come about the time the governor’s office submits its’ proposed 2013 general revenue budget, in mid-November. This allows members to know how much expected general revenue will be available for distribution to the various agencies. The pre-session budget review process, starting on October 9, 2012, means much of the agency funding legislation can be drafted and ready for consideration when the regular session begins. The meetings will take place in the MAC building, which is located behind the Capitol. The committee room where the budget hearings are held includes seating for 88 members and 130 seats for the public. This gives constituents better access to the process, and it literally gives more legislators “a seat at the table.” Overall, the budget hearing process will be productive. The members will continue to navigate the still-tight economic climate with cautious budgeting, which is how Arkansas was able to net a surplus for the 2012 budget.