Arkansas steel mill proposal gains traction

Ark. steel mill proposal gains key endorsements as some conservatives object to subsidies

Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (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 one 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.

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