Missouri Minute: Evergy pledges to reach net-zero emissions by 2045; Centene to settle two suits

Hello, MBA readers,

As restrictions loosen and businesses reopen and increase capacity amid the pandemic, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a bill that curbs the power of local governments to close businesses, schools and churches during health emergencies.That power has drawn heavy backlash from Republican lawmakers and some businesses at points during the pandemic. The new law also bans any government or public entity in Missouri from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine to access public transportation or other public services. In the energy sector, Evergy, the Kansas City-based electric company, has outlined its long-term plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. The plan would shut down nearly three-quarters of Evergy’s coal-fired electric capacity by 2039 and would increase the company’s ability to generate power from wind farms. And finally, in the St. Louis area, health insurer Centene has agreed to pay $143 million combined in two settlements to Ohio and Mississippi over how it charged the states for prescriptions. Missouri’s largest private company has set aside an additional $1.1 billion for potential cases involving other states.


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Parson signs bill limiting local government health authority
The bill restricts the authority of local governments to close businesses, schools and churches in light of health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. (Missouri Independent)

Centene to settle with Ohio, Mississippi
The Clayton-based health plan provider is paying a total of $143 million to the two states to settle lawsuits over prescription pricing. Centene has set aside over $1 billion more for similar settlements. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Amtrak proposes routes reconnecting KC to Oklahoma and beyond 
The proposal would expand the route of Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer, which currently runs between Oklahoma City and Texas, enabling customers to connect to a train that travels from Chicago to Los Angeles through Kansas City. (Associated Press)

KC civil rights leader joins police lawsuit
Gwen Grant, president of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, filed a motion Monday arguing that the city’s taxpayers don’t have enough of a say in the police department’s budget allocation. (Kansas City Star)

Sansone Group moves into KC market
The St. Louis-based property management group announced deals to expand to Kansas City, where it will manage more than 600 residential units. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Branson go-kart complex strikes deal with private equity firm
The Track Family Fun Parks in Branson announced that Denver-based private equity firm Fruition Partners made a “large investment” in the business, though leadership will remain the same. (Springfield Business Journal)


Say that again

“If we want to bring everyone back to work, we need to get them vaccinated so that we don’t have an outbreak. Because if there’s an outbreak, and we have shut everything down again, send everybody home again, that’s more expensive.”

That’s L.J. Tan, chief strategy officer at the Immunization Action Coalition, an advocacy group that works to increase vaccination rates in the private sector, discussing companies returning to in-person work and mulling vaccination mandates. Though the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued guidance saying employers are legally allowed to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for employees, most Missouri businesses aren’t ready to do so. Though many businesses are offering paid time off and other incentives to encourage vaccination, other legal concerns are preventing many requiring them.


Go figure

2045

Kansas City-based utility Evergy has pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2045. The company, which has 600,000 customers in Missouri and about 1 million in Kansas, expects to make its first big investments in solar energy over the next three years to do so, the Associated Press reports. “Every year, the technology gets better and better,” said Chuck Caisley, Evergy senior vice president and chief customer officer. “You’re just going to see that march continue.” Evergy outlined its long-term plan for regulators in Kansas, the first time a Kansas utility has filed such a plan with state regulators. The plan is fueling a debate about climate change, electric rates and promoting social justice through energy policy.


Hello, my name is

Kymberlee Maten

Maten never intended to turn her passion of cooking into a full-time gig. But she’s doing exactly that as the new manager of CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen, a shared commercial kitchen in Columbia that debuted in December. Raised in Columbia, Matney has traveled the globe, participated in cooking competitions and worked in award-winning restaurants, both as a chef and kitchen manager. She was hired by the Business Loop Community Improvement District to manage the kitchen and assist clients, the Columbia Missourian reports. The shared kitchen works with nine clients and two other businesses, ranging from food trucks to caterers to bakers. “I feel like I’m doing something good with my knowledge,” Matney said. “I can help other people realize their dreams and focus on building up this community.”


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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