Missouri Legislature passes electricity rate incentives

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS/AP) - Missouri lawmakers have passed a proposal in a special session that supporters hope will bring hundreds of jobs to the southeastern part of the state.

Senators voted 24-5 on Friday to send the measure to Gov. Eric Greitens.

Gov. Greitens said in a statement:

"The people of Missouri sent a loud and clear message: They want to work. They don't want welfare. They want to bring back American jobs.

The bill will allow aluminum smelters, steel mills and other major electricity users to negotiate lower electricity rates for longer contracts than is allowed under current law.

It is designed to lure two companies to New Madrid in southeastern Missouri. It's a region that has struggled economically since a major aluminum smelter closed last year when it filed for bankruptcy.

The bill received relatively widespread support, but some lawmakers were concerned that residential customers could face higher electricity rates to offset the special discounts for big manufacturers.

Senator Doug Libla released the following statement on Friday:

"Great news for the Bootheel and state of Missouri: The Missouri Senate has successfully passed House Bill 1.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.