AR House, Senate leaders back steel mill plan

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas House and Senate leaders say they support a $125 million financing package that's been proposed to help build a steel mill in northeast Arkansas.

House Speaker Davy Carter told reporters Thursday that he supports the legislation intended to lure the $1.1 billion Big River Steel mill proposed to Osceola. Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux later said he'll also vote for the legislation.

House and Senate committees plan next week to take up the legislation for the mill that is expected to employ 525 people. Carter and Lamoureux say they believe the benefits to the state from the project outweigh any risks.

$50 million of the $125 million in bonds proposed for the project would be a loan to the company. The remainder would be paid off by taxpayers.

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