AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty spoke in favor of the amendment.
“Associated Industries of Missouri, the oldest general business trade association in Missouri, after deliberative and thoughtful consideration, supports the compromise legislation found in this utility infrastructure bill,” said McCarty.
Associated Industries of Missouri has a process for determining support or opposition of legislation. Typically, a member business requests the organization take a certain position and the matter is referred to a Planning and Policy Committee that listens to both sides of an issue and may recommend support for or opposition against the measure. Finally, the Committee’s recommended position may be acted upon by the full Board of Directors or the Executive Committee of the Board consisting of business leaders from across Missouri.
McCarty said the organization decided to support the compromise legislation in SS#5 for SB 564 primarily because of five key provisions in the bill:
- An immediate electricity rate reduction that reflects the impact of the federal 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act;
- A special economic development rate that allows a special 40% discount in electricity rate if a facility adds new or incremental load to the electric utility’s system and meets certain other conditions. This special rate does not result in a cost shift to other ratepayers because of a provision stating that in no case will such a rate be below the cost of providing the electricity to that customer;
- A rate freeze will protect ratepayers from increases for three years;
- Rate growth is restricted to 2.85% per year for all electricity customers (2% for the largest industrial customers); and,
- Additional investments that will be made in infrastructure to provide reliable and secure electricity service for all consumers.
McCarty said the provisions of the bill help provide certainty to both the utility companies and their customers, allowing major investments to be made in modernizing Missouri’s electric grid and protecting against unexpected outages and cyber attacks as well as other natural and man-made threats.
“This bill is a hard fought compromise that was achieved following much debate and discussion in the Missouri Senate,” McCarty said. “We urge the House to pass this legislation for the benefit of all electricity customers.”
The bill was approved by the House Utility Committee on a 11-1 bipartisan vote. The bill will be evaluated by one more House committee before consideration by the full House.
The House earlier in the day perfected a House version of the legislation, HB 2265, sponsored by Rep. T.J. Berry (R38 – Kearney). That bill was approved by the House and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.