An Arkansas House committee has approved a Senate bill aimed at keeping the lieutenant governor's office open until November after the last officeholder resigned over ethics violations.
House lawmakers cleared the way Wednesday for a Senate bill that would allow Gov. Mike Beebe to not call a special election for the state's second-in-command post within 10 months of the November election. Senators passed that bill unanimously last week.
The bill's sponsor, Republican Senate Majority Leader Eddie Joe Williams, says a special election would cost at least $1 million.
The committee's chairwoman, state Rep. Andrea Lea, says the measure is expected to head to the full House for a vote Thursday.
Former Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr resigned Feb. 1 after the state Ethics Commission fined him $11,000 over ethics violations.