LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas House of Representatives has passed the more modest of two measures that propose to raise money for highway maintenance.
Both of the bills initially failed in the chamber Monday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Republican Rep. Johnny Rye of Trumann offered to amend his bill to cap the money that would go to highways at $140 million after his measure to earmark revenue from applying the state sales tax to Internet sales fell short by two votes. The bill passed with 56 members voting in favor of it.
A bill by Republican Rep. Dan Douglas of Bentonville to raise $200 million annually for road maintenance fell four votes shy of the 67 votes it needed for the House to consider the bill again. The measure had failed on the House floor March 14.
The bill had drawn opposition from Americans for Prosperity Arkansas and other conservative groups opposed to raising taxes. It would've referred a bond issue to voters in the November 2018 general election.
A favorable popular vote would've applied the 6.5 percent state sales tax to the wholesale price of fuel and directed the proceeds to state highways, city streets and county roads.
Monday was the second time Douglas had asked his colleagues to expunge the vote so the chamber could reconsider, having seen the motion fail 61-24 on March 20. Doing so requires two-thirds majority of the House.
"This is the last time I will come up on this," Douglas said to his colleagues. "I didn't intend to do this, but I was asked to."