Media

Arkansas Highway Commission drops ballot bid, targets legislators for road construction funding


The Arkansas Highway Commission has abandoned its pursuit of an initiated act for the 2018 general election and will, instead, focus on highway funding during the 2019 Legislative Session.


By Noel Oman
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Arkansas Highway Commission has abandoned pursuing an initiated act for the 2018 general election ballot asking voters for more money for road construction.

It said instead that it would have another go at persuading lawmakers to cough up the additional funds when they meet in January 2019.

The commission also distanced itself from a group called Driving Arkansas Forward, which is trying to place a constitutional amendment on the 2018 general election ballot to allow casino gambling with a share of the revenue going to road construction.

Since June, the commission's five members, who are appointed by the governor, have been following Gov. Asa Hutchinson's suggestion that they pursue a ballot initiative to raise additional money for road construction after successive legislative efforts have failed in recent years, most recently in 2017.

The change in plans comes as the Arkansas Department of Transportation struggles to come up with enough money to maintain existing roads.

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