The new speaker of the Arkansas House said last week that lawmakers should find some way to fund needed improvements to the state’s highway system without taking the issue to voters.

Rep. Robert Moore, D-Arkansas City, said if that is not possible, then he would be agreeable to a recommendation by the Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance that voters should decide on a 0.5% increase in the sales tax rate to support up to $1.8 billion of 10-year bonds for road projects.

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