Missouri House set to debate utilities proposal

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House is set to debate a bill that supporters say would bring a steel mill and hundreds of jobs to the southeastern corner of the state.

The Wednesday debate will be over a proposal that would allow steel-works companies and aluminum smelters to negotiate lower electricity rates than are allowed under current law.

Bill sponsor Rep. Don Rone said Tuesday that the bill would bring jobs back to an area that saw significant job loss when an aluminum smelter closed last year.

The proposal received overwhelming support during the regular session in the House. It stalled in the Senate over concerns about a provision that critics said could’ve allowed major utilities companies to raise rates more easily. That provision was removed yesterday in a committee.