Legislators Disagree with Beebe's Idea of Delaying Road Bonds

MARCH 2, 2007 - Posted at 7:41 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Legislative leaders say there's no reason to delay putting a highway-improvement bond issue before Arkansas voters as Governor Beebe says he is considering.

Senate President Jack Critcher says it is important that the Legislature do something for highways in the current session.  Senator Bobby Glover says he wants to see a road package put before voters.

A proposal allowing the state Highway Commission to issue bonds failed at a special election in 2005.  It was opposed then by the Arkansas Trucking Association, which objected to the open-ended nature of the authority.

This year, the trucking group has endorsed a 5-cent-per-gallon diesel-fuel tax increase measure proposed by Beebe as part of his highway improvement package.  Beebe also wants to spend $100 million of the state surplus on highways.

A Beebe spokesman says the governor has not made a final decision on a highway bond vote.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)