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May 19, 2017JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. | By: Coffey / AP
Missouri lawmakers will be returning to work next week for a special session just over a week after this year's General Assembly session came to a close.
Governor Eric Greitens announced yesterday he is calling lawmakers back to consider legislation that could make it easier to reopen an aluminum smelter in southeast Missouri. The proposal would allow the state Public Service Commission to approve special electric rates for aluminum smelting and steelworks facilities, which require a lot electricity to operate.
The proposal stalled as lawmakers wrapped up work for their regular session last week. Some senators expressed concern about creating special exemptions for particular companies.
The proposal passed the house and was supported by 1st District State Representative Allen Andrews. Andrews says he was disappointed the bill got stalled in the Senate and adds that he anticipates the issue to continue to receive support by state representatives.
The Noranda aluminum plant in New Madrid shut down in 2016. Supporters hope the new legislation will bring up to 500 jobs to the area by making it more cost-effective for new owners to operate the facility.