Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Ross went to Fort Smith today to release a jobs plan.

Here’s where to read it.

The focus is on education (pre-K to higher ed); “lower, fairer” taxes; government efficiency (including a review of state regulation), and economic development. Some of the ideas he’s mentioned before.

It runs 48 pages, counting the covers.


The tax part:

* Cut income taxes by modernizing the income tax code, saving the average working family in Arkansas $665  a year when fully implemented

* Gradually phase out the state’s sales and use tax on partial replacements and repairs of manufacturing  machinery and equipment  

Job development:


* Establish the Governor’s Cabinet for Economic Development to help coordinate the state’s job creation efforts

*Fully fund the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund at $50 million every two years to ensure Arkansas can remain competitive with other states in bringing new jobs to the state

* Create the Strengthening Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (SEED) grant program to provide grants to communities, nonprofit organizations, economic development partnerships and community groups to fund initiatives, projects or programs that encourage or support entrepreneurship and/or innovation

* Create “Engage Arkansas” – a crowdsourcing campaign to encourage state government agencies to think creatively about how to harness the ideas and entrepreneurial talents of Arkansans and give Arkansas’s budding entrepreneurs opportunities to be recognized and rewarded for their skills and talents

* Launch an Arkansas Work Ready Community initiative that would be a statewide coordinated effort to encourage and assist communities across Arkansas to attain nationally recognized “Work Ready Community” certifications that prioritize developing an educated, skilled and trained workforce to attract the good-paying jobs from around the country and all over the world 

BTW: Asa Hutchinson has a plan, too.

Ross was joined in Fort Smith by John Burkhalter, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. He’s the only one of the four main party candidates for the top two state jobs who’s never run for public office before. “I am a business guy,” he said. He said his experience would be valuable. 

UPDATE: If you want to read sneering Hutchinson response, it’s at bottom of this link.