Republican Governor Eric Greitens has signed into law a bill that gives electric rate discounts to industrial companies using large amounts of energy. The governor called the state legislature in for a special session last month to lower electric rates for a steel mill and aluminum plant that want to open in southeast Missouri. The legislation passed and signed into law expands to also give future Missouri high-intensity industrial companies discounted energy rates.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

Greitens has announced the signing of the bill today via a Facebook video:

“Now, we’re going to be able to bring a steel mill and hundreds of quality jobs to the state of Missouri. So proud of the work that so many of you did all over the state of Missouri to make this happen,” says Greitens.

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

Opponents of the proposal 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 lower electric rates as part of an economic development package and there’s no guarantee that the businesses will open in Missouri.

Meanwhile, Greitens will meet with President Donald Trump and other governors in the White House today to discuss workforce development and job creation.