Economic Development In The Delta To Be Addressed

May 25, 2015

The Delta Queen bill is one of several pieces of legislation to be discussed at the Delta conference on economic equality for working families.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The two-day Delta conference on economic equality for working families begins Tuesday in Little Rock.

The Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus, an advocacy group promoting economic development in the impoverished region will host the conference. Topics being discussed will include women and children in poverty and race relations, but the overall focus is economic equality. 

Former Governor Mike Beebe will speak as a representative for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee’s communications director Alice Stewart will also speak. Former President Bill Clinton and Governor Asa Hutchinson will also address the group, along with members of the state's congressional delegation.

Current opportunities in the region will be discussed, including a proposal being considered this week during a special session of the Arkansas Legislature, called by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

“We would certainly like to support Governor Hutchinson’s south Arkansas jobs project because it would be great to bring 500 jobs to south Arkansas,” said Lee Powell, Executive Director of MDGC. 

Several pieces of pending federal legislation will be addressed, including opening up farm trade to Cuba, federal highway funding, and the Delta Queen Steamboat bill. Healthcare will remain a key issue.

“We want to continue to urge the governor and the legislature to extend the health insurance coverage expansion, which led a quarter of a million Arkansans to gain health insurance for the first time,” said Powell.