According to published reports, lawmakers questioned the motives behind the proposal to restructure the independent state commission because the plan is backed by the Arkansas Trucking Association.
Sen. Cliff Hoofman, who asked that the budget be held up last week, said his routine move had nothing to do with the effort to restructure the Highway Commission.
The five-member panel appointed by the governor has been independent since voters approved Amendment 42 in 1952.
The Arkansas Trucking Association has drafted legislation for the 2001 general Assembly that would provide for electing two commissioners from each the state's four congressional districts to serve one four-year term.
The state highway director would serve at the will of the governor rather than the commission, AP reported.
The association hopes to persuade the Legislature to refer the proposal to voters in the 2002 general election.