Ark. Senate committee weighs steel mill proposal

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - An Arkansas Senate committee is considering Gov. Mike Beebe's proposal to provide a company $125 million in state financing to help build a new steel mill in the northeast part of the state.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development is expected to vote Tuesday on legislation authorizing Arkansas to issue the bonds to provide a loan and pay some of the construction costs of a $1.1 billion steel facility in Osceola. The company, Big River Steel, is promising to create at least 525 permanent jobs.

House Speaker Davy Carter and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux have both endorsed the proposal, but some conservatives have been critical of the government subsidies and loans.

A committee of House lawmakers is expected to consider the proposal on Wednesday.

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)