Bill Now Awaits Governor’s Signature
JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri State Senate gave approval today to a measure that could create hundreds of jobs for Missourians. It also includes various consumer protection provisions to address concerns held by some legislators. Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said this measure will promote and foster economic growth across the state.
“Within the last month, an opportunity to create good-paying jobs has surfaced in Southeast Missouri,” said Richard. “This measure will help bring a new facility whose owners could invest millions of dollars in the Show-Me State.”
When the Noranda Aluminum smelter in New Madrid closed last year, approximately 900 people lost their jobs. Since then, average household income has dropped $6,000 in New Madrid County. The 8th Congressional District is now the 11th poorest district in the country.
Recently, two companies have shown interest in coming to Southeast Missouri and plan to put families back to work with high-paying jobs. House Bill 1 gives the Public Service Commission authority to approve certain special utility rates for both an aluminum smelting facility and a steel works facility that would help bring these investors to the state. Bill handler, Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, said this is the kind of bill Missouri really needs.
“Our area lost jobs when Noranda closed last year, and it was devastating to our surrounding communities,” said Libla. “The New Madrid area is great for industrials. We already have the infrastructure available, including roads, ports and railroads, to bring in raw materials and ship products out. We even have a trained workforce. The infrastructure for the aluminum smelter is already in place, and the steel mill company plans to invest $82 to $100 million in infrastructure.”
Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said, “By giving the PSC this authority, it will give new facilities certainty when deciding whether to locate or expand in the state of Missouri.”
The bill now awaits the governor’s signature before it can go into effect. To learn more about this bill or to track its progress, visit www.senate.mo.gov.