Arkansas is set to provide a new steel company with $125 million in financing and tax breaks to build a mill in the northeast part of the state now that the Legislature has given final approval to the plan.
By an 81-9 vote, House lawmakers on Tuesday passed a Senate-approved budget bill to fund Gov. Mike Beebe's proposal to provide Big River Steel with a loan and pay some construction costs of a $1.1 billion steel mill the company wants to build in Osceola. In exchange, the company promises to create at least 525 permanent jobs with an average annual wage of at least $75,000 - twice the state's average.
Big River Steel has said it wants to close the deal in the third quarter of this year.