Special Session: House complies with half of Greitens’ call, rejects other half

An excerpt from a Missouri Times article:

The Missouri House passed Rep. Don Rone’s bill 120-17 with several small amendments, but it lacks language that would give utilities the ability to look at increasing rates for grid modernization which would potentially jeopardize the bill in the Senate.

Speaker Todd Richardson thanked the House Utilities Committee and members of the chamber, but said the effort relied on Rone who he said had “uncommon courage.”

“We are very pleased with the outcome of today, and really this week’s work on the special session.” Speaker Todd Richardson said after the House dismissed for the evening. “This is an effort Rep. Rone started back even in the winter , trying to find a way to bring a competitive utility rate to New Madrid in an effort to attract 500 well-paying new jobs to a state that desperately needs them.”

Speaker Todd Richardson speaks at the dais May 24, 2017 during special session. (Ben Peters/MISSOURI TIMES)

Rone himself was also pleased with the end result of the legislation.

“On behalf of the people from my district, I want to thank everybody in this body, both sides of the aisle, whether you voted for it, whether you voted against it,” Rone said on the House floor.

Rone’s legislation has become the primary focus of the special session called by gov. Eric Greitens. It would give the Public Service Commission (PSC) special authority to offer a lower rate to steel mills, aluminum smelters and other large consumers of electricity. A steel mill considering a move to Southeast Missouri will reportedly move to the state on the passage of this bill.