Arkansas Highway Funding Bill Voted Down In Committee

Mar 21, 2013

A bill that would have directed a portion of state revenue from certain sales taxes to the Highway and Transportation Department failed to pass a house committee Thursday, though its sponsor says it could get another try in committee.

Representative Jonathan Barnett, a Republican from Siloam Springs, sponsored HB 1418 and says if he does bring it back up, it will have to compete with other bills cutting or reallocating state funding.

"There's a lot of bills out there that impact the future revenue of this state and I know a lot of people are concerned about the mix of those bills and maybe depending on what happens with some of those bills we'll see what happens to this bill," Barnett told reporters after the committee meeting.

He says the Highway Department’s main sources of funding are drying up and it will have to find a new way to fund maintenance costs.

Advocates for state funded higher education and secondary education told the committee the bill would have hurt future funding of secondary and higher education.