Missouri House OKs bill to shorten utility rate cases

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | 9:09 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House has voted to require quicker action by state regulators on rate increases sought by utilities.

Legislation approved Tuesday would give the Missouri Public Service Commission up to nine months to decide rate cases. The commission has 11 months under existing law.

The bill would also charge utilities a fee to fund the office of public counsel, which represents customers in rate cases. The office is now funded through general state revenue.

Utilities would be allowed to pass the fee on to customers.

The House approved the bill Tuesday on a vote of 114-39. It now goes to the Senate.

Missouri's legislative session ends Friday.

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