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Filing seeks refund of stricken Arkansas local project money

October 30, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas lawmaker is asking a judge to order a planning and development district to refund money it received to pay for local projects after the state Supreme Court ruled a series of grants violated the state constitution.

Former state Rep. Mike Wilson on Monday asked a Pulaski County judge to order the Central Arkansas Planning and Development district to refund $2.5 million to the state treasury, with a third of that to go toward his attorney fees. Wilson also asked that the district pay more than $4,500 in plaintiffs’ costs.

The state Supreme Court in early October ruled that the local project grants violated a constitutional requirement that budget measures distinctly state their purpose. Justices didn’t say, however, whether those grants defied a ban on strictly local legislation.

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