Arkansas Law on Local Projects Meets Approval of 2005 Plaintiff

JACKSONVILLE, AR - The Arkansan who successfully sued the state two years ago over how it appropriates money for local projects says he's satisfied with the new law passed this year to address the issue he raised.

Former state Representative Mike Wilson of Jacksonville partially won an Arkansas Supreme Court decision on his Pulaski County Circuit Court lawsuit in 2005.  Wilson claimed that several legislative appropriations were unconstitutional because they amounted to legislation that specifically named and benefitted certain projects.

But the new law, passed this year, directs most General Improvement Fund money to state agencies rather than local projects.  The law leaves it to the state agencies to distribute the money.

Wilson says he does not see a problem with the new law, provided that state agencies distribute the money fairly and not according to what projects individual legislators favor.

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