Legislative Extension Measure Fails by Two

April 16, 2003
Posted at: 4:10 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A move failed by two votes in the House to extend the legislative session beyond Wednesday.

That doesn't mean the session is in its last hours, however. Legislators could still try to change minds and call for another vote.

Lawmakers are scrambling to work out details of a spending bill -- trying to find common ground on whether to raise taxes or use capital projects money to fund state services and government operations.

Both houses remain bound to adjourn at the end of business Wednesday, although Senate leaders were pushing for an extension through Thursday.

The Senate is hoping to pass a 15-percent tobacco tax increase before adjourning. But a bipartisan coalition of House members say they have the votes to block the tax and adjourn today.

With Governor Huckabee, they want to address the budget in special session in a few weeks. The state's new fiscal year begins July 1, allowing time for special sessions.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.