The Associated Press March 31, 2011, 1:42PM ET

Ark. Senate votes to send road sales tax to voters

Arkansas lawmakers have voted to put a half-cent sales tax to pay for road improvements on the 2012 ballot.

The Senate voted 22-10 and gave final approval Thursday to referring the proposed constitutional amendment to voters.

If approved -- the half-cent sales tax would pay for a bond program to pay for the state's roads and to create a four-lane highway system around the state. The tax would only be in effect for 10 years.

The measure is part of a $2.8 billion highway improvement package supported by House Speaker Robert Moore that's intended to improve the state's highways.

Lawmakers have already approved legislation allowing the governor to place a five-cent diesel tax increase on the ballot to pay for another highway bond program.

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