Arkansas Panel Votes To Take Highway Funding Plan To Voters

Jun 7, 2017

The Big Rock Interchange in west Little Rock, which opened in July 2015. The Arkansas Highway Commission is seeking an increase in funding for highways.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Highway Commission has decided to seek a ballot measure to increase money for state roads next year after lawmakers refused to send voters a proposal that would have raised $200 million a year.

The panel voted Wednesday to pursue putting a proposal on next year's ballot to increase highway funding. The panel will spend the coming months studying the level of additional funding it wants to seek. It also will work on the specific type or proposal it wants to put before voters.

The plan comes after an effort failed in the Arkansas House earlier this year that would have put a 20-year bond issue on the ballot. That plan could have raised $200 million annually for state highways. But an accompanying gas tax increase drew opposition.