Highway funding bill heads to Governor Hutchinson’s desk

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers have given final approval to a bill raising fuel taxes and tapping into expected casino revenue for roads, sending the governor a key part of his highway funding plan.

The Senate on Tuesday approved by a 25-8 vote the proposal as part of a $300 million highway funding plan Gov. Asa Hutchinson and legislative leaders unveiled last month.

The legislation imposes a new wholesale tax on fuel that would raise gas prices by 3 cents a gallon and diesel by 6 cents. It also directs at least $35 million in expected revenue from casinos voters legalized last year and increases registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles.

A separate proposal is pending in the Senate to ask voters to extend a half-cent sales tax permanently for roads.

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