Missouri Senate endures filibuster on utility rates bill

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri Senate has worked through the night into a new day as a group of lawmakers filibusters a bill changing the way utility rates are regulated.

The legislation being debated Thursday would allow utilities to more quickly recover their costs for infrastructure improvements while imposing a 3 percent limit on annual rate increases to consumers.

Supporters say it will result in ever-increasing rates for customers, but opponents say it will ensure price predictability instead of allowing periodic surges in rates that could be even larger.

The Senate began debating the bill around 7 p.m. Wednesday and worked straight through the night. Opponents frequently made quorum calls to summon sleepy senators who had retreated to their offices to come back to the chamber.

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Utility bill is SB564