Arkansas Lawmakers Give Final OK To Governor's Highway Plan

May 23, 2016

Arkansas House Speaker Jeremy Gillam officially ends the special session on Monday.

Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to raise nearly $50 million for the state's highways in the coming fiscal year.

The Senate on Monday approved by a 21-10 vote Hutchinson's proposal to tap into the state's surplus, investment returns and other funds to pay for the state's road needs. The measure now heads to Hutchinson's desk.

Lawmakers approved the plan shortly before adjourning a special session that began last week on the proposal.

Hutchinson has said the additional money is needed so the state can receive an additional $200 million in annual federal matching funds. The proposal had faced criticism from Democrats and some Republicans who have said the approach doesn't address the state's long-term highway needs.