Legislators Say Special Session on Tax Hike Not Likely

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Legislative leaders say Governor Beebe has run out of time to call a special session to consider raising the state's tax on natural gas production.

Arkansans may get a chance to vote on a tax hike in November, and the regular legislative session begins two months later.

Beebe has said he may call lawmakers back for a session if he could reach an agreement with lawmakers and natural gas firms opposed to a former utility executive's proposed ballot measure.  His office said today there still remains a chance for a special session.

But Senate President Jack Critcher of Batesville and House Speaker Benny Petrus of Stuttgart say it's too late for one.  They say there's not a consensus among lawmakers for a tax hike.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)