JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri utility regulators plan to hear evidence in June on a pair of cases challenging the electricity rates charged by Ameren Missouri.
The Missouri Public Service Commission scheduled a hearing to begin June 4 on a request by Noranda Aluminum for a 25 percent reduction in the rates it's charged at its aluminum smelter in the southeast Missouri town of New Madrid.
The commission set a hearing to begin June 23 on a separate case involving Noranda and Ameren. That complaint alleges Ameren is earning more than it is authorized to from its electricity rates.
The commission said it expects to make a decision by July 30 on the rates involving the Noranda smelter and by Aug. 20 on the case asserting Ameren is earning too much.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Industry and special interest groups have spent more than $200,000 in the last three years on trips for Missouri lawmakers.
Records reviewed by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch showed the travel-related spending in many cases included airline tickets, hotel rooms, meals and convention fees.
While the lobbyist spending is legal in Missouri, critics say the practice creates conflicts of interest when legislators go to vote on issues important to those lobbyists and industries.
Those who defend lobbyist spending say providing trips focused on giving lawmakers valuable information is not the same thing as plying legislators with perks.
The Missouri Biotechnology Association, which promotes the growth of Missouri's biotechnology and biomedical industries, spent more than $40,000 between 2011 and 2013 on tours of Missouri biotech facilities and other events in Missouri.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are poised to send Gov. Jay Nixon legislation to overhaul the state's criminal laws.
House Majority Leader John Diehl says the chamber will vote on a measure that passed the Senate earlier this year. An affirmative House vote would send the bill to Nixon, who has expressed concern over the bill's size and scope.
The measure creates new classes of felonies and misdemeanors, and reorganizes crimes to fit the new penalty structure.
Some crimes, such as possessing small amounts of marijuana for the first time, would be punished less severely than under current law. But other crimes, including child molestation, would carry longer possible prison sentences.