|Updated: 3/21 4:38 pm
||Published: 3/21 4:35 pm
Talk Business Blog Editor Roby Brock tells Good Day's Deedra Wilson about the Governor's Cup competition and other stories making political news today.
Governor's Cup competition:
It's kind of like the NCAA basketball tournament for business plans. Every year for more than a decade now, the Arkansas Capital Corp. and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation have sponsored the Governor's Cup. It's an Arkansas-based business plan competition where undergrad and graduate students compete for nearly $150,000 in prize money - money that they can use to start their businesses.
Some entries this year include: picasolar, a solar panel company that has a patent-pending revolutionary efficiency to it. It could transform the solar energy market. Homedx, which would sell over the counter tests for infectious diseases and food intolerances. Trustedwills.com, an online will making service that you can complete in 8 minutes. These might not be household names like Walmart today, but someday they might.
Big River Steel Mill:
Right now, legislators have received two different analysts' reports on the project and its viability. Lawmakers have been asked to approve $125 million in bonds to help fund incentives for the project, which could eventually create 500 jobs and a total investment of nearly $1.1 billion. One of the big investors in this project, a steel
company executive named John Correnti, says he wants to do a groundbreaking on the superproject this fall.
I think next week we may see some action on this. There will be a Joint Economic Development Committee meeting at the legislature that will receive a presentation on the reports. My sources tell me that there aren't any major surprises in the reports. I expect the legislature will eventually green light the deal.
Thee governor hasn't taken a position or done anything on this bill since it landed on his desk a day or two ago. It's awaiting the governor's action. He can either sign it into law, veto it, or let it go into law without his signature. The Governor's Office says he's hoping to receive an Attorney General's opinion on the matter as to whether or not the law may have some constitutional problems. If it does, I think the governor vetoes the bill. If it doesn't, I'm not sure what he will do. It's a hyper-partisan issue. Republicans want this law; Democrats hate it. Since he is a Democrat, he may feel compelled to oppose it like nearly every Democrat did in the state legislature.