With five days left in the legislative session, the state Senate has not voted on proposed changes to ratemaking laws for Missouri’s electric, water and gas utilities. Supporters say the changes would help modernize aging infrastructure. Opponents say the measures would increase utility rates.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe

Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe

Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) is not sure if debate will continue the issues.

“If there’s some things that change up the conversation, if somebody’s got different ways to approach it, I believe we could spend some more time on it. If it’s the exact same thing that we’ve spent time on, then I would say it would probably say it will not have more time,” said Kehoe.  “Residents are very sensitive to utility bills. We have the seventh lowest rates in the United States. We want to remain in a cost affordable way with utility rates.”

Senate President Ron Richard (R-Joplin) says if the proposals do not pass this year, he wants the issues addressed this summer.

“If we can’t move on that, I plan on having an interim committee try to break that up and get some resolve,” said Richard. “Usually interim committees end up having legislation or a bill come that comes out of that.”

The House has not considered the measures. The session ends Friday.