The Capitol Report | May 25th, 2017

Special Session & Unclaimed Property

The members of the Missouri House of Representatives came together Wednesday to approve a piece of legislation meant to bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to the state. As part of an extraordinary session called by Governor Greitens, lawmakers met to discuss the merits of a bill that would allow two companies interested in setting up operation in Missouri to negotiate a lower electricity rate. The legislation is necessary to bring one company with plans to open a steel mill in Southeast Missouri, and a second company that wants to reopen an aluminum smelter formerly operated by Noranda.

When the smelter closed last year it caused the area to lose 900 jobs. If Missouri can entice the two interested companies to move forward with their projects, they would create as many as 400 new jobs at the re-opened smelter, and at least 95 jobs at the steel mill. The legislation would authorize the Missouri Public Service Commission to approve a special, lower rate for a longer contract of service for companies like the smelter and steel mill that use tremendous amounts of electricity. The PSC already has the authority to negotiate special rates for companies currently operating in Missouri, but supporters say the legislative change is necessary to grant the commission the authority to negotiate rates for new companies interested in operating in the state. The bill would include not only the two proposed projects, but also any new facility that would use more than 50 megawatts of electricity per month and that can show a true need for the special rate.

The final bill also includes consumer protections to ensure the PSC keeps the cost to other ratepayers in mind with any special rate it approves. With this provision, lawmakers hope to keep costs from being shifted to other customers. The special utility rate is important for Missouri to be able to compete with other states that can offer cheaper rates to attract businesses that consume large amounts of electricity. The lower rates are vital for a smelting operation like the one under consideration. The now-closed Noranda smelter consumed as much electricity as the city of Springfield. The new smelter would use as much as 190 megawatts each month, while the proposed steel mill would use between 50 and 60 megawatts of electricity per month.

The legislation includes an emergency clause that would allow it to go into effect as soon as it is approved by both chambers and signed into law by the governor. Time is of the essence because the company that wants to build the steel mill hopes to decide on a location in June. Supporters of the bill say it will position Missouri as the company’s top option. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. If the Senate approves the bill as it was passed by the House, it will then go to the governor. If the Senate makes changes to the legislation, the House will then have to accept those changes, or head to a conference committee where negotiators can work toward a compromise.

In other news, The Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has notified my office that Missouri is now approaching $1 billion dollars in unclaimed property across more than 5 million accounts. Some of those funds belong to individuals, businesses, or local governments in the 120th District.

Therefore, I encourage you to search for and claim your property free of charge at: http://www.ShowMeMoney.com

Reminder: 120th District Survey: As your voice in state government, I can be more effective when I know your views on the many issues facing our state. Please take moment to respond to this survey. If you would prefer a paper survey, please contact my office and a copy will be mailed to you.

http://jasonchipman.polldaddy.com/s/2017-legislative-survey

You may read in more detail about what is happening at your State Capitol below.

As always, I will work diligently for you as your State Representative.

-Jason

 

House Sends Jobs Bill to Senate (HB 1)

The members of the Missouri House of Representatives came together Wednesday to approve a piece of legislation meant to bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to the state. As part of an extraordinary session called by Governor Greitens, lawmakers met to discuss the merits of a bill that would allow two companies interested in setting up operation in Missouri to negotiate a lower electricity rate. The legislation is necessary to bring one company with plans to open a steel mill in Southeast Missouri, and a second company that wants to reopen an aluminum smelter formerly operated by Noranda. When the smelter closed last year it caused the area to lose 900 jobs. If Missouri can entice the two interested companies to move forward with their projects, they would create as many as 400 new jobs at the re-opened smelter, and at least 95 jobs at the steel mill.

The legislation approved by the House would authorize the Missouri Public Service Commission to approve a special, lower rate for a longer contract of service for companies like the smelter and steel mill that use tremendous amounts of electricity. The PSC already has the authority to negotiate special rates for companies currently operating in Missouri, but supporters say the legislative change is necessary to grant the commission the authority to negotiate rates for new companies interested in operating in the state. The bill approved by the House would include not only the two proposed projects, but also any new facility that would use more than 50 megawatts of electricity per month and that can show a true need for the special rate. The final bill also includes consumer protections to ensure the PSC keeps the cost to other ratepayers in mind with any special rate it approves. With this provision, lawmakers hope to keep costs from being shifted to other customers. The special utility rate is important for Missouri to be able to compete with other states that can offer cheaper rates to attract businesses that consume large amounts of electricity. The lower rates are vital for a smelting operation like the one under consideration. The now-closed Noranda smelter consumed as much electricity as the city of Springfield. The new smelter would use as much as 190 megawatts each month, while the proposed steel mill would use between 50 and 60 megawatts of electricity per month.

The legislation approved by the House includes an emergency clause that would allow it to go into effect as soon as it is approved by both chambers and signed into law by the governor. Time is of the essence because the company that wants to build the steel mill hopes to decide on a location in June. Supporters of the bill say it will position Missouri as the company’s top option. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. If the Senate approves the bill as it was passed by the House, it will then go to the governor. If the Senate makes changes to the legislation, the House will then have to accept those changes, or head to a conference committee where negotiators can work toward a compromise.

Remembering and Honoring America’s Heroes

America is a land of prosperity, a land of opportunity, and a land of freedom, but it is all of these things only because of the heroic men and women who have fought, and in many cases given their lives, to make the United States the greatest nation in the world. It is on Memorial Day that the nation pauses to honor and remember the heroes who so selflessly gave all so that Americans could live in peace and safety.

In the wake of the terrorist attack in England that killed 22 people, the job done by America’s heroes to keep the nation safe takes on added significance. The attack is a reminder that there are those in this world who wish to do harm to the innocent, and to bring chaos and destruction to peace-loving nations. The threats are a reminder that the United States must remain ever vigilant, and that its heroes must continue to risk their own safety in order to preserve the American way of life. Memorial Day is a reminder of the sacrifices that have been made, and the lives that have been lost to make America what it is today. It was intended to be a somber day of remembrance that would see Americans place flags and flowers on the graves of fallen heroes. However, for many it is now little more than a three-day weekend with little thought given to the real significance of the day and the more than 1.8 million lives given in service to America since its creation.

This Memorial Day it is important for all Missourians, and all Americans, to spend time in remembrance and reverence of those who have given all. As one of the greatest Missourians, President Harry Truman, once said, “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” On Memorial Day, and on every day of the year, his words should continue to ring loudly, and it is the duty of all Americans to ensure they do.

Unclaimed Property

The Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has notified my office that Missouri is now approaching $1 billion dollars in unclaimed property across more than 5 million accounts. Some of those funds belong to individuals, businesses, or local governments in the 120th District.

HD_120Therefore, I encourage you to search for and claim your property free of charge. Banks, businesses, and insurance companies turn over unclaimed property to the state treasurer after accounts have been inactive and owners cannot be successfully contacted for a statutorily defined period of time, generally five years. The treasurer holds these funds until the owner or their proper heirs are located and claim it. Account owners can file a claim online or request a paper claim be mailed to them at any time by visiting http://www.ShowMeMoney.com. Claims frequently reach hundreds of dollars or more.

District Visit

Commencement 2017 photos (147)
I was honored to be the keynote speaker at East Central College’s (ECC) Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) graduation program ceremony last Saturday in Union. Because a traditional educational environment does not work for everyone, ECC has developed the AEL program to help students achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a high school equivalency diploma. Great job to all of the graduates!

Free Veteran Dental Care

Thousands of veterans will receive free dental care on Saturday, June 24th, when doctors and their teams from nearly 450 Aspen Dental-branded practices in 35 states open their doors for Aspen Dental’s National Day of Service – an event that is expected to be the largest single-day oral health initiative for veterans in 2017. Interested veterans should call 1-844-AspenHMM (1-844-277-3646) to find a participating practice in their community and schedule an appointment in advance – space is limited and appointments are filling up fast.

Legislative Survey

Earlier this year my office released a 2017 legislative survey that may be taken by any 120th District constituent. As your voice in state government, I can be more effective when I know your views on the many issues facing our state. Please take moment to respond to this survey (link below). Since I can talk with only a small portion of you personally, it is one of the best ways for me to learn your stance on potential legislation. You can also contact me by calling, emailing, or stopping by my office. As always, your interests, concerns, and wishes are the reason I am here. http://jasonchipman.polldaddy.com/s/2017-legislative-survey

If you would prefer a paper survey, please contact my office and a copy will be mailed to you.

I am committed to serve the constituents of the 120th District, so please feel free to contact my office anytime at 573-751-1688. Your District 120 Capitol Office is 201 W Capitol Ave, Rm 415-B, Jefferson City, MO 65101. If you wish to unsubscribe from this report, please email Dylan Bryant at dylan.bryant@house.mo.gov

 

 

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