New Economic Development Chief Wants Bond Amendment to Attract Firms

February 12, 2004 - Posted at 7:27 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The new economic development chief for Arkansas says the state needs to pass a constitutional amendment to authorize a major bond issue, a change that Larry Walther says could help the state land an auto plant.

Surrounding states have brought in auto manufacturing plants, and Arkansas was in the running last year for a Toyota truck plant.

Soon after the Toyota announcement a year ago, the Legislature adopted upgrades to the state's economic development incentives.

Legislators have also referred to voters a constitutional amendment that would authorize the General Assembly to approve general obligation bonds.  The bonds would be for projects that create at least 500 jobs.

Statewide bond issues now require a statewide vote.  Proposed Amendment Two will appear on the November general election ballott.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)