LITTLE ROCK — As the House and Senate took Friday off, their leaders announced plans to meet every day next week, including Saturday.
"I don’t think we’ve got enough done, and I don’t think we’re going to extend the session," said Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville.
The Legislature is set to recess on April 19 and to formally end the regular session May 17.
"If we wait until the 19th and find out we need a couple more days, we can’t go back and recapture the Saturdays," Lamoureux said.
The Senate has taken some Fridays off during the session, and this week both chambers took Good Friday off. Lamoureux said he floated the idea of working on Good Friday, but by the time he did senators were unwilling to change their plans.
"We didn’t decide to do it soon enough," he said, adding that the Senate will not take any more Fridays off this session.
House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, said that with big issues such as a $125 million bond issue for a proposed steel mill and health care expansion on deck, next week looks to be exceptionally busy.
"If those things had been on the plate today, we wouldn’t have taken today off," he said Friday.
Carter said the plans to work Saturday could be cancelled, depending on how much work gets done Monday through Friday, but he wanted legislators to start preparing to work an extra day.
"Better safe than sorry," he said.
Lamoureux and Carter said they did not know whether the Legislature had ever met on a Saturday before.
"I’ve been there for 10 years. We’ve never met on Saturday as far as I know," Lamoureux said.