Lawmakers reopen discussions on utility rate hikes

State lawmakers hit the reset button Tuesday on talks that could affect how much customers pay for their electricity, water and gas service.

When members of the House and Senate adjourned for the summer in May, they left St. Louis-based Ameren and other utilities without the changes the companies believe will streamline the process they go through when they want to raise rates.

The companies say a faster turnaround time by regulators at the Missouri Public Service Commission could help them make needed improvements to an aging utility grid.

In response, regulators and a special panel of state senators are each holding hearings and taking testimony to determine what changes might be palatable.

Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, is chairing the Senate panel that launched two days of hearings Tuesday. He said the information gathered could be used to craft a blueprint to be acted on by lawmakers next year.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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