Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM), the state’s oldest business organization, has urged lawmakers to pass rate cap legislation, which would cut and cap electric rates in Missouri.

The business group says the compromise version of SB 564 that is before the House Utility Committee provides that benefits to utilities from the federal tax cuts must immediately flow to customers in the form of a 4-5 percent cut in electric rates. The legislation would also place a cap on rate increases for the first time in Missouri’s history, while preserving the Missouri Public Service Commission’s regulatory authority.

Associated Industries of Missouri praised the bipartisan compromise that allowed SB 564 to pass the Missouri Senate 25-6, becoming one of the first major pieces of legislation to pass that chamber this legislative session. According to the Associated Press, electric rates in Missouri have gone up approximately 5.2 percent annually over the past decade. SB 564 would cap the average annual rate increases at 2.85 percent, the most consumer-friendly rate caps in the country.

“We urge Missouri lawmakers to pass SB 564, which will immediately put more than $100 million back into the pockets of Missouri families and businesses,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “In addition, the strict rate caps in this legislation will provide Missouri businesses with exactly the kind of rate stability and predictability they have long been seeking. Passage of SB 564 will benefit all ratepayers in Missouri, including our member businesses that rely on reliable and affordable electricity.”

McCarty noted the legislation contains an emergency clause, which means that utilities would be mandated to lower electric rates within 90 days of the governor signing the bill, as opposed to 90 days after Aug. 28.