Although the Missouri House passed a redistricted map last week by a wide margin, getting such agreement out of the Missouri Senate may be more difficult.
In addition to concerns expressed by Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, and Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, Sen. Mike Kehoe said in a statement that he has concerns with both proposals:
I have spent a great deal of time studying and analyzing both the House and the Senate redistricting maps. Additionally, I have spoken to citizens and elected officials, from the county level to members of the Congressional Delegation.
I still have reservations about both the House and Senate maps because I am concerned that both maps facilitate being represented in Congress by a representative from suburban St. Louis, rather than from Central Missouri….an individual that likely would not understand or appreciate the smaller-town, conservative, agrarian values of Central Missouri. I will continue to be actively involved in redistricting discussions, and I will continue to work toward a solution that is in our best interest.
Under both the Senate and House proposals, Cole County is placed in a reconfigured 3rd District that includes portions of St. Charles and Jefferson Counties. The Senate map in particular would split Callaway County - which is in Kehoe’s district.
In any case, the concerns of individual senators could lead to changes in the House map. And any major change could cause House members who voted affirmatively to reconsider.
Even though he wasn’t a member of the committee, Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, was present for a marathon hearing over site permit legislation that could pave the way for a nuclear reactor in Callaway County.
His bill is one of two vehicles that would allow Ameren and a consortium of utility companies to pass on the costs of a site permit onto rate payers. The other bill - sponsored by Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau - would establish a funding stream for the Office of Public Counsel.
I caught up with Kehoe after the committee hearing ended and asked him about the prospects for his legislation, as well as whether this bill was forestalling a large fight over how to fund another nuclear reactor in Callaway County.
A Missouri Senate committee considered two bills yesterday that could pave the way for a nuclear power plant in Callaway County.
As mentioned in the previous post, the sticking point between Sen. Jason Crowell’s [right] bill and Sen. Mike Kehoe’s legislation is whether to provide a ratepayer-fueled funding stream for the Office of Public Counsel. That’s the entity that represents consumers and the public in front of Missouri Public Service Commission.
Here’s more from my article in the St. Louis Beacon:
Consumer groups, big corporations and Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, endorsed Crowell’s bill. But that measure received a chilly reception from utility company representatives; they support legislation by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, which does not include a funding for the public counsel.
Crowell said earlier this month that keeping that agency well-funded could be beneficial for consumers. He repeated that message after presiding over a six-and-half hour hearing over the issue.
"Most of the people who were for [Kehoe’s bill] don’t pay Ameren rates," Crowell said. "Most of the people with concerns over the bill pay Ameren rates. That’s what it boils down to."
Representatives from environmental groups rejected both bills, saying that it would give Ameren a “foot in the door” to come back and have ratepayers fund the cost of a nuclear plant.
The final audio clip from my interview with Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, features the two-term lawmaker explaining why his site permit bill is the best course of action.
Crowell is one of a number of lawmakers - including Sens. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, Brad Lager, R-Savannah, and Mike Parson, R-Bolivar - who have introduced bills on the issue.
As noted in my article in the St. Louis Beacon, Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, could play a big role in the legislative bid to allow ratepayers to pay for a nuclear reactor site permit.
I spoke with Crowell on Wednesday about legislation he filed that would provide a ratepayer funding stream for the Office of Public Counsel. That’s not included in Sen. Mike Kehoe’s bill that was filed in February.
I’ve made three audio files of the interview. In the first one, Crowell explains why including that funding stream is prudent.
For Mid-Missourians, few freshman lawmakers have name recognition like Sen. Mike Kehoe.
Before winning a contested GOP primary for the seat that encompasses several Mid-Missouri counties, Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, was well-known throughout the region for his car dealerships. He was also involved in state government as a member of the State Highway and Transportation Commission.
But Kehoe’s first big endeavor as a lawmaker is sponsoring legislation that would allow Ameren and a consortium of energy companies to recover costs of a site permit for a potential nuclear reactor in Callaway County. The current nuclear reactor is in Kehoe’s district.
I spoke with Kehoe yesterday for an article I wrote for the St. Louis Beacon. The audio of that interview is above. I’ll post some more audio soon.
This photo from the Columbia Missourian shows a portion of the nuclear reactor in Callaway County.
A legislative push is underway to restart the process that could bring about another nuclear reactor in Callaway County.
After efforts to reconfigure the state’s Construction Work In Progress [CWIP] law faltered in 2009, Gov. Jay Nixon threw his support behind a plan that would allow Ameren and other utility companies to collect ratepayer dollars for a site permit.
One vehicle is being sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City. But in my article for the St. Louis Beacon, I write about how another bill from Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, garnered warm warms from consumer groups:
Crowell was a major factor in opposing CWIP legislation in 2009. And he could play a big role in the latest battle.
One difference between Crowell and Kehoe’s bill is the funding stream for the office of public counsel. And Crowell (right) said keeping that agency well-funded could be beneficial for consumers.
"Net to net, it will result in greater oversight, greater transparency and lower rates in the long run," said Crowell in an interview with the Beacon. "It’s sort of like keeping air in your tires. If you keep your tires properly pressured, they will last longer than if you let all the air out of them. So in the long run, you spend less on tires by taking the time by putting a quarter or 50 cents or 75 cents in the air machine and making sure your tires are properly inflated than never, ever checking them and running them on the rims."
I also asked Gov. Jay Nixon at his St. Louis Press conference about Sen. Jason Crowell’s legislation aimed at restarting the process to build another nuclear reactor in Callaway County.
Nixon used part of his State of the State speech to announce a new legislative push to allow Ameren and a consortium of energy companies to collect money for a site permit. Other senators - most notably Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City - introduced bills this year on that subject.