LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' top insurance official said Monday he hopes to win legislative approval next year to begin implementing a key part of the federal health care overhaul.

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford said he plans to ask the state Legislature to give him the authority to set up its state health insurance exchange when it convenes for its fiscal session next year. The state Insurance Department has been planning for the exchange using a $1 million grant, but legislation authorizing its setup stalled in the Legislature earlier this year over objections to the federal health care law.

Bradford said getting the exchange legislation considered will be difficult, since any non-budget matters during the fiscal session require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to even be considered.

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