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Sat Apr 3, 2021, 03:34 AM

Lawmakers call for local utility relief fund in wake of cold snap

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bipartisan group of legislators is calling on Gov. Mike Parson to establish an emergency relief fund for local utilities in the wake of February’s cold snap.

Rep. Jeff Porter, who penned a letter to the governor that garnered the signatures of most of the Missouri House and seven senators, said the legislature hoped to secure help for constituents as they reckoned with the fallout of the extreme weather event and the resulting rise in natural gas and electricity prices. The letter requested a $50 million loan fund allowing citizen-led utilities impacted by the storm to borrow for up to five years without interest.

According to Porter, surrounding states have already begun implementing similar programs.

“The cold snap in February was bad for a lot of people,” Porter said. “There was a lot of price gouging or market manipulation going on at a very critical time, taking advantage of a situation and a captive audience. … It was time for me to step up to the plate, and I got 113 signatures in the House hoping we could do something for our constituents.”

Read more: https://themissouritimes.com/lawmakers-call-for-local-utility-relief-fund-in-wake-of-cold-snap/

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