The special session would center on a potential economic development superproject involving Lockheed Martin in Camden, Arkansas. The aerospace and defense contractor is in the running for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) being developed by the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps as a successor to the popular Humvee vehicle, which has been in service since 1985.
Governor Asa Hutchinson intends to call a special session of the Arkansas General Assembly for a limited purpose to consider an Amendment 82 bond issue for a “super project” industrial opportunity in south Arkansas. If approved, this project would create, over time, almost 600 jobs while securing more than 1,100 jobs for the life of the project. An official call for the special session set for May 26th will go out later this month.
“Job creation and economic development is the No. 1 priority for my administration, and we have a great opportunity here to create hundreds of new, good-paying jobs in Arkansas — and retain hundreds more,” Governor Hutchinson said. “If approved by the legislature, this project would not only create hundreds of jobs, but it would also put Arkansas on the map in terms of vehicle assembly and the potential for a major defense contract. Of course, any obligation to the state will be conditioned upon an actual award from the United States Army.”
Approved by voters in 2004, Amendment 82 allows the state to issue bonds to finance infrastructure and other needs in order to attract major projects to the state of Arkansas.