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Missouri Senate in Filibuster Again Over Utility Rate Increase

February 15, 2018 - 8:22 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Missouri senate is filibustering again--demanding consumer protections be included in a bill that would change the way utility rate hikes are handed out, and this  has consumer groups worried.

"It really shifts the costs from the biggest users to the smallest users and adds accounting mechanisms that allow for bigger profits for the utility companies, and that's all around bad for residential consumers, and it's bads for the Missouri economy," says Cara Spencer, Executive Director of the Consumers Council of Missouri.

Supporters say rates eventually go up to cover costs, and at least the bill would make the increases more predictable--around three-percent a year. 

Spencer says House members have taken a lot of campaign money from utility lobbyists.

"As Senator Schaaf pointed out in the filibuster last week, our utility companies have a very strong lobby in the house and in the senate, over a million dollars this year, according to senator Schaaf. That's a very powerful lobby, and so we're up against a bug machine here," she says.