Nucor Steel Arkansas and Nucor Yamato Steel, which operate steel mills near Blytheville, have filed suit in federal district court in Jonesboro to stop construction of the Big River Steel mill, an operation heavily subsidized by state and local tax money that's a venture by Nucor's former boss, John Correnti.
A friend notes a news article in the Arkansas Catholic and the coincidence of timing with discussions about a merger of clinical operations of the public University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and St. Vincent Infirmary.
Sounds like this turkey is cooked. Direct support by House Speaker Davy Carter and slightly qualified support by Senate President Michael Lamoureux would make it appear Gov. Mike Beebe is going to get his big state subsidy to help a startup steel mill operation in Mississippi County, despite stout opposition from an existing competitor that cranked up here without such millions in taxpayer help.
The careful review of a major taxpayer investment in the proposed Big River steel mill is nothing but a good thing and there's no debate we can thank the new Republican legislative majority for the oversight.
Nucor, the big steel producer with a mill in Mississippi County, is increasing its attack on the state proposal to give tens of millions in subsidies to a startup competitor run by a former Nucor executive.
THIS IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION YET
A taxpayers' lawsuit has been filed challenging expenditure of tax money by the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock — cumulative millions over the last 20 years — to support local chambers of commerce.
Thanks to Republican Rep. Duncan Baird for calling my attention on Twitter to a new Pew study on the perils of corporate welfare — state tax incentive programs to lure business that can grow to crippling revenue drains.
A friend sent me a recent blog post by Jim Hightower on corporate welfare and the practice in 16 states, including Arkansas, that allows corporations to deduct state income taxes from workers and deposit it — not with the state — but directly in their own bank accounts.
If the Democratic Party of Arkansas has a future, it is in people like Clarke Tucker, the Democratic nominee to succeed term-limited John Edwards in representing House District 35 — the Heights and northwestern Little Rock.
Ernest Dumas is back from vacation with a column that chronicles abundant good news in the land and an electorate that either pays it no mind or disbelieves anything could be good on Barack Obama's watch.
Walmart watch. Attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge has claimed the backing of Walmart, the retail giant, in her Republican candidacy for the state's top legal officer. That is unconfirmed by the company so far. Walmart HAS said definitively it won't be spending in behalf of the statewide vote on alcohol sales.