In his meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Arkansas has experienced a decrease in sales tax revenue in recent months that was half as much as previously expected.


Meeting with Trump and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly at the White House, Hutchinson said Arkansas had been expecting a 10% decrease in sales tax revenue from the same time in 2019. However, there was only a 5% decrease.


The governor noted in his meeting with the president that even though the state was suffering, it was prepared for much worse. Hutchinson also told the public Thursday he expected Arkansas businesses to reopen with an emphasis on social distancing.


Hutchinson personally thanked Trump on Wednesday at the White House for his leadership in production and the economy before stating that “the country depends on that production.”


Arkansas passed the 5,000-mark for COVID-19 total cases on Wednesday with 1,044 of them active. Hutchinson attributed this to the increase of testing in the state but noted that reopening the economy “has to be a national effort.”


One reporter Wednesday asked about mail-in voting for November’s election and Trump had asked for input from Hutchinson on the matter. The governor stated he was looking into “no excuse” mail-in voting for those unable to vote in person due to health concerns.


After returning to Arkansas, the governor remarked on Thursday he had never seen the nation’s capital so empty. Hutchinson said that higher-income workers are able to work from home, but the low and middle income workers were hurting with the city shut down.


The governor finished his remarks on the D.C. trip by saying that America needed to reduce the spread as a nation and continue living at the same time.