Governor Asa Hutchinson responded to critics of how his recent transportation funding bill was passed.
After attending an event in Rogers Thursday morning, Governor Hutchinson spoke with us about the benefits of the bill, which he signed on Monday. Though Arkansas legislators overwhelmingly approved the funding bill, there were lawmakers who disagreed with the legislative jockeying that was used to pass it. Hutchinson responded by saying there were two options on the table, and his plan won.
“One was my highway bill and the other one was a more aggressive plan, but included raising taxes,” Governor Hutchinson pointed out. “I did not believe it was the right time to raise the gasoline taxes when Arkansans, for the first time in a long time, are enjoying a little bit more money in their pockets.”
The governor told us that, because the state funding has been secured, Arkansas qualifies for $1-billion in federal highway dollars. That combined funding can be put to use by Arkansas Highway Transportation Department for construction projects, including the ongoing work on I-49.