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Ark. lawmakers weigh steel mill project reports

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas lawmakers are meeting to discuss Gov. Mike Beebe's proposal to provide a company with $125 million in state financing to build a $1.1 billion steel mill in Osceola.

The Legislature's economic development committees will convene a special meeting Monday to discuss the project after a pair of reports from outside consultants released last week offered mixed opinions of the costs and benefits of the proposal.

Both reports said the mill had the potential to bring sizable economic benefits to the state. But one group of consultants concluded that the size of the incentive package Beebe is proposing would erode some of those benefits. The other report says state economic development officials overestimated the long-term benefits of the project and didn't consider uncertainties surrounding the project.