LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas House committee has approved and sent to the full House bills intended to fund highway construction, maintenance and improvements and to raise the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 6.5 percent to pay for the bonds.

If eventually approved by the Legislature, the proposals that moved out of the House Public Transportation Committee Thursday would ask voters to approve the measures.

The bills sponsored by Republican Rep. Dan Douglas of Bentonville would allow the state Highway Commission to issue the bonds for 20 years and, if the bond issue is approved, to levy the 6.5 percent tax increase to pay for the bonds.

Supporters say the measures will raise about $200 million a year for state road improvements and maintenance.