March 27, 2003
Posted at: 4:07 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The legislative budget panel today rejected a proposal to forego setting aside state money for local building projects.
Senator Tim Wooldridge of Paragould proposed a bill to put the money into the state's general fund to help ease a budget crisis caused by a sluggish economy.
The proposal failed in the Joint Budget Committee by an 11-to-17 vote. Officials say the General Improvement Fund will total about $55 million, and $25 million of that is obligated to pay off bonds.
Legislators have filed about 500 bills this session seeking money for sidewalks, civic centers and other local building projects totaling more than one-half billion dollars.