Missouri Legislature passes electricity rate incentives

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have passed a proposal in a special session that supporters hope will bring hundreds of jobs to the southeastern part of the state.

Senators voted 24-5 on Friday to send the measure to Gov. Eric Greitens. The bill will allow aluminum smelters, steel mills and other major electricity users to negotiate lower electricity rates for longer contracts than is allowed under current law.

It is designed to lure two companies to New Madrid in southeastern Missouri. It's a region that has struggled economically since a major aluminum smelter closed last year when it filed for bankruptcy.

The bill received relatively widespread support, but some lawmakers were concerned that residential customers could face higher electricity rates to offset the special discounts for big manufacturers.