Beebe tells Ark. lawmakers no money for tunnel

Gov. Mike Beebe is telling lawmakers he won't release money to build a 100-foot tunnel to connect the state Capitol to a nearby office building.

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor met Monday morning with House Speaker Robbie Wills and Sen. Steve Faris to talk about the tunnel project. The Arkansas Legislative Council on Friday had endorsed a proposal to build the tunnel and renovate the nearby building for legislative staffer offices.

DeCample said Beebe is willing to release money for the building renovation, but not the $1.8 million for the tunnel project. Beebe has said he doesn't think the tunnel is necessary, especially in a tough economy.