- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former state lawmaker has filed a lawsuit claiming the Arkansas Legislature is circumventing the state constitution’s ban on funding local projects by sending surplus money to grants distributed by a state board.

Mike Wilson of Jacksonville on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging nearly $3 million in surplus money that’s been given to the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District. Wilson’s lawsuit says the district has issued $440,000 in grants to various local projects around the state.

The Arkansas Legislature in 2007 changed the way it funds local projects after the state Supreme Court sided with Wilson in a lawsuit challenging money set aside for a city’s street improvements. Since then, the Legislature has traditionally directed the money to agencies or commissions to distribute as grants around the state.

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