Members of the Arkansas Economic Development Council, a commission composed of business leaders and economic development advisers who represent each region of the state, today passed a resolution to express support for Issue 1.

Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment referred to Arkansas voters by the General Assembly, will be on the ballot on November 3, 2020. It gives voters the opportunity to extend the existing ½-cent sales tax that funds improvements to the state’s highway infrastructure. The council’s resolution emphasizes the importance of Issue 1 to the state’s economy and encourages Arkansas voters to pass the initiative.

“Keeping our roads in good repair is crucial to attracting industry and business to Arkansas and supporting the efficient transportation of goods and services to the four corners of our state,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “I appreciate the commissioners’ passage of this resolution and their proactive efforts to support better, safer roads for Arkansans.”

The 16 commissioners passed the resolution unanimously at their monthly board meeting today. During the meeting, commissioners cited several reasons for Arkansans to vote in favor of Issue 1.

“Improving Arkansas’ infrastructure will profoundly benefit everyone in Arkansas and impact every segment of our economy,” Council Chairman Rick Barrows said.

Joe Quinn, executive director for the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation, attended the meeting as a featured guest.

“There has never been a more important point in history for Arkansas to find the resources to maintain a strong road and bridge system,” Quinn said. “COVID has reminded all of us that we need an infrastructure system that seamlessly brings the necessities of life to families in small towns and large cities. This is also not a point in time where we should ask hard working local leaders to give up 30 percent of road repair budgets that are already barely keeping up with local needs.”

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