House Approves Severance Tax Increase, Bill Goes to Senate

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The House and Senate have passed Governor Beebe's proposed increase in the severance tax on natural gas.  In the second day of the special session, the chambers passed identical tax bills but at least one will have to be approved by both chambers before the measure goes to Beebe for his signature.

The money from the tax would be used to pay for highway improvements.  The measure passed on a 81-16 vote in the House.  The Senate approved its bill by a vote of 32-3.

The House also voted 96-0 to repeal a 2007 law that mistakenly removed the state's minimum age to marry.  That measure now heads to the Senate.

And in a 95-2 vote, the House extended the deadline for Pulaski County Special District  and the North Little Rock School District to receive incentives for seeking unitary status.  The bill now goes to the Senate.

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