Legislative Roundup: Big River Steel Project Close to Final Approval

by Mark Carter  on Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 9:05 am  

Manufacturers’ Tax Cuts
Manufacturers received some good news when a bill to cut the taxes they pay on utilities was passed through House committee.

The bill would reduce the sales tax on electricity and natural gas to 1 percent by 2015. State officials estimated the measure would reduce state revenue by about $14 million next year.

Illegal Workers
A bill that would authorize the state contractors licensing board to revoke or suspend the license of a contractor found to knowingly employ an illegal worker — either directly or through a subcontractor — awaits hearing in Senate State Agencies & Governmental Affairs.

Senate Bill 1089 is sponsored by Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale. Similar bills by Rep. Jim Nickels, D-Sherwood, were introduced in the 2009 and 2011 sessions and failed to advance.

Elsewhere at the Capitol

  • The PACE Initiative — the Property Accessed Clean Energy Act — was signed into law. It allows for the establishment of energy improvement districts to fund loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water improvement projects.
  • Carter amended his proposal to cut the capital gains tax. The new version raises the standard deduction from $2,000 to $2,400 over three years.
  • As expected, the House voted to override Beebe's veto of the voter ID bill. The Senate had previously done so. Both votes were along GOP-led party lines. The voter ID bill requires photo identification to cast a ballot but requires the state to provide free IDs to those who don’t have one.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.

Latest Arkansas Business Poll

Did the Fed make the right call on interest rates?