Arkansas Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Local Project Funding

Sep 7, 2017

Arkansas Supreme Court

Arkansas Supreme Court justices are questioning just how specific lawmakers need to be in funding measures as they weigh a lawsuit that claims the Legislature is violating the constitution by sending money to regional agencies to be distributed around the state for local projects.

Justices heard oral arguments Thursday in a former state representative's lawsuit challenging $2.9 million that went toward one of eight planning districts in 2015. Mike Wilson said the money violates a constitutional ban on strictly local legislation and the constitution's requirement that budget measures state a distinct purpose.

Wilson was behind a lawsuit that prompted the court to strike down the Legislature directly funding local projects around the state with surplus money. Attorneys for the state and the district argued the grants are constitutional.