Ark. House committee OKs steel mill plan

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A House committee has given its approval to a plan that would provide state funding to a new steel mill in northeastern Arkansas.

On a voice vote, the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development said Wednesday the state should use $125 million to back the Big River Steel plant in Osceola. There was a small number of "No" votes.

The plan calls for Arkansas to issue bonds to provide a loan and pay some of the construction costs of the planned $1.1 billion mill. Big River Steel says the plant will create at least 525 permanent jobs.

The Senate approved the proposal Tuesday by a 26-6 vote.

Gov. Mike Beebe and legislative leaders have endorsed the proposal, but some conservatives have criticized it.

Amendment 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)