Speaker Davy Carter has called for a "Committee of the Whole" for Wednesday upon adjournment. A committee of the whole is a procedure rarely used but it is found on page 43 in House Rules. It allows the entire body to hear testimony and ask questions on the House floor in a style similar to our committee meetings. In this case, Governor Beebe will be presenting information. No votes are taken or recorded in these proceedings.
The General Assembly will be asked to support a proposed steel mill in Mississippi County by approving $125 million in state bonds backed by General Revenue.
The Big River Steel mill is expected to bring in 500 jobs with wages averaging $75,000 a year.
The General Assembly may authorize the bonds under Amendment 82 of the state constitution. Amendment 82 was approved by voters in 2004. It allows the legislature to approve up to 5% of the General Revenue budget for bonding of large economic development projects. Click here to read the amendment.
The first step for the legislature will be to conduct an economic analysis. Once the Speaker and Senate Pro-Tem receive a formal recommendation from the Governor, the legislature has 20 days to approve the bond issue.
Speaker Davy Carter described the current status of the project as “inning 2 of a 9-inning baseball game.” The committee of the whole proceedings will be webstreamed live arkansashouse.org