Subject: Special Session Update

SPECIAL SESSION UPDATE

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILL FOR SOUTHEAST MISSOURI PASSES

The Missouri General Assembly returned to Jefferson City for the week of May 22nd to respond to a call from Governor Eric Greitens (R) for consideration of legislation aimed at bringing up to 500 jobs to Southeast Missouri.  An aluminum smelter located in New Madrid closed its doors earlier this year and laid off over 900 employees.  State and local economic development officials have been working on restoring jobs to this economically stressed area since the closure of the Noranda plant and this effort has prompted a legislative solution. 

Recently, the effort of reopening the aluminum smelter has become part of a broader economic development package that also includes recruitment of a steel mill facility nearby.   

The Governor's Special Session Proclamation requested legislation to allow these facilities to petition the state regulatory body overseeing electric utilities (Missouri Public Service Commission) to allow for the consideration of a special electric rate for new manufacturers that require large amounts of electricity in their manufacturing process. 

Additionally, the Governor was hoping to pass legislation to provide a mechanism for electric utility companies to begin modernizing and rebuilding their aging infrastructure in the state, which would also create many jobs in the construction industry.  The grid modernization issue has been heavily debated in the legislature for over a decade and has faced significant opposition from large manufacturers and various consumer groups. 

During this week's consideration during special session, it was decided by House and Senate leadership to only pursue language to allow for an economic development package for the Southeast Missouri plants as the grid modernization language was very controversial and jeopardized the passage of any bill during special session. 

Ultimately the legislature passed House Bill 1 by a wide margin and the bill has been signed by the Governor.  

The Governor has suggested he may call additional Special Sessions over the interim and these topics may include labor reform, tort reform, education reform and tax credit reform.  

Gallagher Consultants, INC.
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