Infra priciest bit in Arkansas Senator’s jobs plan

Senator Mark Pryor says private capital is the linchpin for America’s economic recovery as he continues to push his version of a jobs bill that calls for key infrastructure initiatives to benefit the state.

Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor is trumpeting a jobs and infrastructure bill that underscores the necessity of private sector support, including public-private partnerships, in the revitalisation of the state's transportation infrastructure. 

Pryor, who was a proponent of President Obama’s failed national infrastructure bank, wants to structure public policy in a way that ushers in private investments. Although there is no clear cost for his infrastructure and jobs bill, the infrastructure component is the most expensive aspect of the Senator’s plan.

“Moody’s estimates for every $1 spent on infrastructure, GDP [gross domestic product] is raised by about $1.59,” a spokesperson for the Senator noted.

A comprehensive economics package that includes 18 separate bills – including an employment and infrastructure proposal – the Senator’s plan incorporates ideas from both the Republican and Democratic sides of the Congressional aisle. It addresses both local and national infrastructure investment needs. Recently, the Senator has even asked locals to submit photos of pressing infrastructure needs throughout Arkansas.

“The government alone cannot pull the country out of the recession. The private sector must lead the way,” said Senator Pryor in a summary of his proposed jobs bill.

The state of Arkansas alone has shed as many as 10,000 construction jobs since the economic recession began in 2008. Senator Pryor is hoping that not only will infrastructure investments resuscitate the national jobs market but also position the state of Arkansas, which is centrally located in the US, as a leading local and national spot for trade.

The Senator expects to leverage the state’s locale, including Arkansas’ easy access to the Mississippi River, which runs across much of the state’s eastern border, to improve its export capabilities. His jobs bill relies on limited government regulation and revised tax laws that favour entrepreneurs and facilitate private sector involvement.