In today’s Talk Business & Politics Daily, Arkansas Trucking Association executive director Shannon Newton discusses the challenges of highway funding in the wake of the governor’s call to find a long-term plan without a tax increase.
Also, we take a look at the state’s housing market in the Arkansas Home Sales Report and Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Michael Cook debate the controversy surrounding the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server.
You can watch the full video of today’s Talk Business & Politics Daily at the end of this report, or download it through the iTunes store under Talk Business & Politics.
Shannon Newton, executive director of the Arkansas Trucking Association, has been part of a working group to determine short-term and long-term road funding needs in the state. After the governor and legislature passed a short-term plan to find nearly $50 million in state funds to apply for additional federal funding, Gov. Hutchinson recently challenged all highway stakeholders at the Good Roads Foundation annual luncheon to be creative in finding a long-term solution.
“A long term plan to me is a challenge, but a long-term plan to me would allow us to not talk about highways for a couple of sessions consecutively. I feel like it just continues to come back up. A long-term plan would include some sort of long-term funding source that wouldn’t require constantly revisiting that issue,” Newton tells TB&P Daily.
She said the governor’s “no new taxes” challenge is “a fair starting point” and “basically wipes the slate clean.” Newton also sees few downsides to crafting a voter-referred plan, which could allow for a vote on taxes for road funding.
“I don’t think there’s anything that can be bad about putting it to the voters, other than just timing and expense,” she said.
Newton said the Good Roads Foundation that the governor challenged to lead on highway funding will be a strong organization to take the reins. She also advocates more legislator inclusion in the process to draw up a long-term plan.
“To some extent, we ask them to do a lot, but perhaps they haven’t been included in the process as much as they’d like to have been,” she said. Watch her full interview below.
Also, watch today’s TB&P Daily Digital for the Arkansas Home Sales Report for insight on the state’s housing market, which has been red-hot. And watch Democratic strategist Michael Cook and Republican strategist Sarah Huckabee Sanders debate the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton, the FBI, and Congressional hearings.