State Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, says future Missouri industrial companies could get electric rate deals because of a measure that has been passed during last week’s special session. The bill was originally meant to give discounted electric rates to an aluminum plant and steel mill that want to open in southeast Missouri.

Representative Ryan Silvey (photo courtesy, Missouri House Communications)

“In this bill, which started out only dealing with those two industries, now is broad enough to count any industry if they’re going to add 50 megawatts of new load,” says Silvey.

Supporters of the measure say it could bring about 600 high-paying jobs to Missouri’s impoverished bootheel region. The average salary for aluminum plant workers is reportedly about $95,000. Managers would earn about $125,000. Salaries for the steel mill are unknown.

“If we have an auto plant, for instance, that wants to locate in Missouri, let’s not have to come back and deal specifically with that because auto plants aren’t mentioned. We do recognize that high-intensity users may want that as part of an economic development package and I think we’ve addressed that,” says Silvey.

Opponents of the measure say giving lower electric rates to the few will hurt many of Missouri’s electric ratepayers. They also contend that it’s bad public policy to include discounted electric rates as part of an economic development package.

Governor Greitens tells Missourinet that he will sign the bill, possibly on June 5. The location of the bill signing is unknown at this time.