By MICHAEL STRATFORD
LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe's plan to provide $125 million in state financing to help a new company build a steel mill in Mississippi County is gaining bipartisan support among legislators. But some conservatives still object to having the government help fund 1 of Arkansas' largest economic development projects.
Beebe's proposal received a significant boost last week when leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature expressed support for Big River Steel's plan to construct a $1.1 billion mill along the Mississippi River in Osceola.
But opponents have also emerged, and as committee votes approach this week it is not clear whether state funds will back the project. A conservative political action group and an existing steel company each have mounted campaigns against Beebe's plan.COMPLETE COVERAGE
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)