LITTLE ROCK If Arkansas is to land a superproject that Gov. Mike Beebe referred to last week as "one of the biggest projects this state has ever seen," it apparently will take quick action from the Legislature under provisions of a never-used constitutional amendment crafted specifically to seal deals for major economic developments.
Amendment 82 was approved by voters in 2004 and amended in 2010. It allows the state to issue bonds to provide funding for infrastructure and other needs, including land acquisition and site preparation, environmental mitigation, roadway improvements, rail access, water and sewer services, employee training and training or research facilities for major projects.
Having such a tool has put Arkansas in a prime position to land an uncommonly large economic booster, according to the governor and others.
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COMPLETE COVERAGEAmendment 82 gives state flexibility to seal super deal (Jan. 21)Legislative consultant to take crack at Big River (Feb. 24)Report urges caution on steel mill project (March 22)Officials discuss $1.1B steel mill project (March 26)Arkansas steel mill proposal gains traction (April 1)Ark. Senate committee weighs steel mill proposal (April 2)Ark. House committee OKs steel mill plan (April 3)Arkansas House approves steel mill funding (April 8)Arkansas Legislature approves steel mill funding (April 16)