Republican Governor Eric Greitens has called a special legislative session to ask the General Assembly to take action on a proposal that would give the Public Service Commission the right to negotiate power rates for two southeast Missouri plants. In a press release today from Greitens, he says:
“We are fighting to bring more jobs to the people of Missouri. Some career politicians failed to do their jobs and then went home. That’s wrong. We’re cancelling their summer vacations and calling a special session to get this done.”
During an emotional floor speech last Thursday, State Rep. Don Rone, R-Portageville, who’s sponsoring the legislation, says his bill would help restore about 400 jobs at the Noranda aluminum plant that closed last year and create 200 jobs at a new steel mill in the Bootheel. He describes the two projects as “shovel-ready”.
Rone told House colleagues his constituents need work and that they’re looking for a way out of poverty.
“I serve some of the finest people you ever want to be with,” Rone said. “But they are all so poor. They are all so poor.”
Rone’s measure had tough opposition in the Senate from three members who could pull out every stalling trick in the book to try and prevent its passage. Last week, Rone exploded on the House floor when he described his recent interactions with Senators Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, and Gary Romine, R-Farmington. He called them “heartless,” “selfish,” and “egotistical”.
They have argued about other utility legislation that they say help the greedy and hurt the consumers.
The special session will begin on Monday and will be paid for by Missouri taxpayers.
Other bills that legislators wanted addressed during a special session include lobbyist gift restrictions to lawmakers, the creation of a statewide prescription drug monitoring program and banning wage requirements on construction projects for things like schools and jails.