NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe said today that state legislators' concerns about upcoming primary elections may speed a decision on whether to hold a special session on raising the state's severance tax on natural gas.
Beebe previously said he would not likely call a special session if supporters of a proposal to raise the tax submit signatures by a July deadline to put the measure on this year's election ballot.
Today, Beebe acknowledged that legislators have concerns about what effect a session would have on them for the May 20 primary as the one-week period to file for state office begins March 3.
Beebe says he has held informal talks in recent weeks with lawmakers about raising the state's severance tax, one of the lowest in the nation. The governor stressed that no formal arrangements for increasing the tax have been offered to legislators.