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      Beebe vetoes tax exemption for drilling sand

      {}Governor Beebe has issued a line-item veto on a provision in a budget bill that exempts sales tax collection on the sand used in the drilling of oil and natural gas.

      {}In a letter to lawmakers, Beebe said the legislature made a substantive change to state law without following the constitutional steps to do so during a fiscal session.

      {}"It's unconstitutional in my opinion and all the lawyers' opinions, to{}do a substantive tax bill in special language in an unrelated appropriations bill. Part of the job I've go to do is call that out when{}I see it, and{}I told them when they were doing it,{}I thought that," said the Governor.

      {}Lawmakers have said they were clarifying state law to follow a Pulaski County circuit judge's ruling that sand qualifies as equipment, meaning taxes can't be collected on it. Lawmakers can attempt a veto override when they return to formally adjourn the session Wednesday.