Wesley Brown/ Talk Business & Politics

Wesley Brown is the Business Editor for Talk Business & Politics. He can be reached by email at wesbrocomm@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @BrownOnBusiness.

Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas Times

Gov. Asa Hutchinson kicked off the annual Arkansas Hospitality Convention in Little Rock on Wednesday  by touting the impact the fast-growing tourism industry is having on the state's overall economic expansion.

Citing a recent U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report designating Arkansas as the nation’s economic leader during the first quarter, Hutchinson told convention-goers gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center that the tourism sector has also play a key role in recent job growth and low unemployment levels.

Diamond Pipeline LLC

One week after getting the go ahead to begin work on a 440-mile crude oil pipeline across the heart of Arkansas, Diamond Pipeline officials said Tuesday they still expect to begin construction by year’s end and begin hiring the hundreds of workers needed to complete the project.

Diamond Pipeline LLC

An evidentiary hearing at the Arkansas Public Service Commission on how the $900 million Diamond Pipeline will cross five major in-state water sources lasted less than 15 minutes on Thursday after opponents of the 440-mile crude oil line withdrew their testimony.

An earlier proposed route for the Plains and Eastern Clean Line.
Clean Line Partners

Two landowner groups along the proposed $2 billion Plains & Clean Line project filed a legal complaint Monday against the U.S. Department of Energy and the Southwestern Power Administration over the use of federal eminent domain powers in Arkansas to benefit a Texas for-profit venture group.

Diamond Pipeline officials are prepared to begin construction on a $900 million, 440-pipeline before the end of 2016 once state utility regulators hold a hearing next week that will close the book on any remaining hurdles for the three-state project.

File photo: Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters at the Capitol
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday said he was not going to try to “get into Donald Trump’s mind” to try and figure out recent comments the Republican candidate made that some critics say advocated violence to stop Hillary Clinton’s appointment of Supreme Court justices if she is elected president.

In response to a questions from reporters asking him to interpret Trump’s comment at a rally in Wilmington, N.C., that “Second Amendment could” thwart Mrs. Clinton’s selection of high court judges, Hutchinson carefully answered the question with a smile and measured tone.

Diamond Pipeline LLC

Talk Business and Politics reports

Little Rock-based Welspun Tubular has received a $47 million contract to manufacture two-thirds of the pipe needed to construct the 440-mile Diamond Pipeline, a controversial multistate project that will ship light, sweet premium grade crude oil from Cushing, Okla., to Valero Corp.’s sprawling refinery facility in Memphis, Tenn.

After ending fiscal 2016 with a $177 million surplus, state tax collections in the first month of the new budget year came in well below forecast as a number of economic indicators point to slowing business activity in the second half of 2016.

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s monthly financial report, net available general revenues for the first month of fiscal 2017 totaled $400.6 million, $1.4 million or 0.4% above last year and $7 million or 1.7% below forecast.

education schools
arkansas.gov

A New York securities and class action law firm has proposed a $300 million settlement with Wall Street financial service giant State Street Corp. on behalf of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the lead plaintiff in a federal case going back more than five years.

Arkansas’ jobless rate remained unchanged in June from last month, however the state’s civilian pool remained declined slightly as employers added fewer worker to payrolls before the back-to-school employment surge begins in early August.

Labor force data, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released Friday (July 22) by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, shows Arkansas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June stayed at 3.8%, an all-time low first touched in May. A year ago, the June jobless rate was 5.3%.

Pages