Advocates for Amendment Four on the ballot Tuesday say the concept is simple, even if the ballot language is complicated. It’s one of the issues on the ballot that might be overlooked with the US Senate race, the proposed cigarette tax and a host of local issues dominating the debate. Amendment Four is a proposed change in the constitution that would allow city-owned utilities to jointly own power plants without coming under the scrutiny of the Public Service Commission. City-owned utilities are exempt from PSC review. Former State Auditor Margaret Kelly is the co-chair of the Yes on Four Committee. She says it will save Missourians money by eliminating redundant regulation. Missouri has 88 locally-controlled municipal utilities, all seeking new avenues to obtain energy in a changing utility market. At present, any joint operations would be subject to state regulation. Kelly points out no formal opposition has arisen, leading her to conclude the biggest obstacles supporters face is lack of awareness and what she calls confusing ballot language. Supporters point out the amendment would not change how private utilities are regulated.
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