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Governor Greitens calls Missouri lawmakers into special session

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri lawmakers will be returning to work Monday for a special session.

Gov. Eric Greitens announced on Thursday that he is calling lawmakers back to consider legislation that could make easier to reopen an aluminum smelter in southeast Missouri.

The proposal would allow the state Public Service Commission to approve special electric rates for aluminum smelting and steel-works facilities, which require a lot of electricity.

The proposal had stalled as lawmakers wrapped up work for their regular session last week. Some senators expressed concerns about creating special exemptions for particular companies.

The Noranda aluminum plant in New Madrid shut down in 2016.

Supporters hope the new legislation will bring up to 500 jobs to the area by making it more cost-effective for new owners to operate the facility.

Here’s a historical look at special sessions called by recent Missouri governors:

September 1993 – Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan calls a special legislative session to approve funding for flood recovery efforts. The Legislature approves the spending.

September 1994 – Carnahan calls a special session to consider the impeachment of Secretary of State Judi Moriarty. The House impeaches her on three counts and the Missouri Supreme Court ousts her from office for backdating her son’s candidacy filing papers.

May 1997 – Carnahan calls a special session after the Legislature fails to complete work on the state budget because of a fight over restrictions on family planning money going to abortion providers. Lawmakers compromise and pass the budget.

September 1997 – Carnahan calls a special session on economic development legislation after vetoing a previous bill. Lawmakers pass a bill that, among other things, creates tax credits for restoring historic buildings. Also passed are bills dealing with rural waste water problems and enabling votes in Branson and Jefferson City on tourism-related taxes.

September 2001 – Democratic Gov. Bob Holden calls a special session to create a prescription drug program for low-income seniors, a proposal that failed during the regular session. The call also includes revisions to the state’s meatpacking laws and an exemption from state taxes for a special federal tax refund. Lawmakers pass all three.

June 2003 – Holden vetoes budget bills for education, social services and mental health and calls a special session for lawmakers to raise revenue and boost spending. Lawmakers pass revised budget bills while ignoring his tax and revenue proposals.

September 2003 – Holden calls a second special session for lawmakers to consider raising taxes and revenues for education and to fix an error in a nursing home bill. Lawmakers fix the error but reject his revenue proposals.

September 2005 – Republican Gov. Matt Blunt calls a special session to consider abortion restrictions, which failed to pass during the regular session. The call also includes corrections to bills on drunken driving, workers’ compensation and prescription drugs at schools, as well as the repeal of a new law prohibiting public officials’ home addresses and phone numbers from being posted on the Internet. Lawmakers pass all of them.

August 2007 – Blunt calls a special session to consider a wide-ranging economic develop package that expands tax incentives for businesses, developers, investors, cattle ranchers and movie-makers and repeals a ban on re-selling event tickets for more than their face value. The call also includes a plan to speed up bridge repairs by awarding a single contract to fix about 800 bridges. Lawmakers pass the measures.

June 2010 – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon calls a special session to create tax incentives for automakers and save money within the state’s retirement system by requiring employees to contribute to their pension funds and work longer before becoming eligible for pensions. Lawmakers pass both measures.

September 2011 – Nixon calls a wide-ranging special session to revamp the state’s business incentives, expand aid following natural disasters, delay its presidential primary, grant St. Louis direct control over its police force and repeal a law limiting teachers’ interaction with students on social media. Lawmakers repealed the teacher-student restrictions but everything else failed to become law.

December 2013 – Nixon calls a special session to approve tax breaks for airplane-maker Boeing Co. to expand in Missouri. Lawmakers pass the measure.

May 2017 – Republican Gov. Eric Greitens calls a special session to consider electricity legislation authorizing regulators to approve special discounted rates for aluminum smelters and steel-works facilities and to approve special rate adjustments for power companies to recoup infrastructure costs.

(This story was last updated at 5:52 a.m. Friday.)

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