St. Louis Labor Tribune: Energy bill key to jobs, growth

When elected officials have an opportunity to strengthen our infrastructure, grow our economy, and create quality jobs, all while cutting and capping our energy costs, they should take it. Senate Bill 564 offers the biggest economic development and job creation opportunity currently under consideration by the Missouri General Assembly.

Passing this legislation would accelerate $1 billion of infrastructure investment in Missouri installing a new generation of smart grid technologies while securing our state’s energy grid and putting more than 3,000 people to work. Family sustaining jobs for 3,000 Missourians is a big deal – and we should make it a priority.


Not only does SB 564 create jobs and improve the energy grid, but it does so while stabilizing energy rates and giving energy consumers an enormous windfall – an immediate 3-4% rate cut adding up to more than $100 million within 90 days of becoming law. On top of this instant benefit, the legislation creates one of the strongest rate caps in the country, ensuring that average annual rate increases do not exceed 2.85%. This and other consumer protections in SB 564 will keep energy costs stable, predictable, and affordable for working families in Missouri.

How often do we get a chance to pass legislation that creates thousands of good jobs while securing these kinds of savings for Missouri’s working families?


In the long run, Missouri’s economy can only grow and succeed if we provide the right environment to attract high-quality employers to our state. That can only happen if we have a reliable energy grid that keeps the lights on while putting an end to the last decade of rate spikes that hurt families and businesses alike.

The latest high tech industrial manufacturing needs to be powered by a compatible electric grid – one that utilizes the latest smart grid technologies that can ensure reliability, prevent costly outages, and give consumers money saving control and insight into their energy usage. Forty-six other states have acted to improve their energy policies and move forward with energy grid modernization efforts – we cannot afford to lose our ability to compete with other states for these jobs. Our state needs to lead by passing this legislation, keeping jobs in our state and attracting new opportunities.


As the former chair of the Labor Caucus in the Missouri House of Representatives, I believe SB 564 provides the right kind of approach to revitalize opportunity for working people in our state while building the foundation for economic growth for years to come. This legislation creates jobs. It improves our energy grid. It invests in new smart technologies. It secures our grid against physical and cyber-attacks. It stabilizes energy rates. Most importantly, it builds a strong future for working families, and I ask my colleagues in the Missouri House to join me in supporting its passage.

BOB BURNS State Representative, District 93

PDF of Article — BobBurns_LaborTribune

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