Legislators Cool to Highway Building Program, But Voters May Have Say

FEBRUARY 14, 2004 - Posted at 7:30 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Legislators are cool to the idea of raising taxes to pay for road-building.  But Governor Huckabee could still put his proposal for a $1 billion highway program directly to voters.  First, the governor has to settle on an option for financing a road bond issue.

State Senator Dave Bisbee of Rogers says he thinks there is no chance the Legislature will pass a highway program this session.  But, Bisbee says that may still refer a road program to the ballot.

Highway Commissioner Jonathon Barnett of Springdale needs to focus on a funding method.  Huckabee says he's been engaged in pushing for a highway program since he first broached the subject several weeks before the beginning of the regular session January 10.

The governor says he has been querying legislators on various options available to pay for highway construction, but lawmakers are preoccupied with financing a mammoth overhaul of public school buildings and facilities.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)