The Legislature is directed to establish a Department of Highways, and shall have the power to create improvement districts and provide for building and maintaining public roads, and may provide for the utilization of convict and punitive labor thereon. Building and maintaining a state highway system is a mandatory governmental function as to which the state enjoys “sovereign immunity” (Ruble v. Department of Transportation, 1983). “Sovereign immunity” is a judicial doctrine that prohibits bringing a suit against the government without its consent. It bars holding...
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