Two Arkansas Democratic legislators today distributed appeals that Gov. Asa Hutchinson not cut into funding for city and state roads when he devises a plan to increase money for state highway spending.
State Reps. Michael John Gray, the Democratic minority leader in the House, and Rep. David Hillman,
vice chair a member of the Public Transportation Committee, both weighed in.
Highway tax revenue traditionally has been split 70-15-15 among the state, cities and counties. A variety of ideas have been proposed by a study group on increasing highway spending, but Hutchinson has insisted any plan be revenue neutral, meaning the highway money has to come out of somebody else’s existing allotment — if not immediately then over time by freezing existing allotments from general revenue and transferring growth to highways.
Gray wrote to the governor that counties and cities maintain 84,176 of the 102,594 miles of roads in Arkansas with only 30 percent of the state money. He said it was a struggle to maintain existing roads, particularly in rural areas, many with obsolete bridges.
Hillman said the existing split was fair and should be preserved.
No firm plan has been proposed yet.