Category: Other Consumer Issues

2019 Moleg Consumer Report

#Moleg2019: Utility Consumers Unscathed The 2019 Missouri legislative session has come to an end and while many bills made it past the finish line, utility consumer bills were successfully blocked. Consumers Council of Missouri, all said and done, had a successful 2019 session with two major victories. We helped stop an attempt in the Missouri House to raise water rates by 15%! And in the last week, we helped prevent a measure to block lower cost environmentally friendly el ...

Grain Belt – Action Needed!

In the final days of the Missouri legislative session, a measure that will help bring lower cost electricity to energy markets in our state is as risk of being railroaded. After 5 years of facing legal roadblocks, the high voltage Grain Belt transmission line is about to become a reality, facilitating the flow of primarily-renewable power from Kansas through to Illinois and beyond. But legislation that would stop it the transmission line project (HB 1062) passed the House of Rep ...

Knowledge is Power

Consumers Council of Missouri 2018 event – Knowledge is Power will showcase our work over the last year, including successful negotiation of a $1M bill pay program for low-income Spire consumers to help families keep their heat on through challenging winters. The event will feature New York Times best selling author, Wendell Potter who will discuss the rising costs of health care from the perspective of a former insurance executive. We will also be presenting our annual Alberta ...

Ameren settles with ratepayer advocates and announces energy efficiency plan

Consumer advocates rejected the initial plan citing overspending and inadequate benefits Ameren, Missouri’s largest utility company, has reached an agreement with consumer advocates and environmental groups to launch an energy efficiency plan. The utility proposed a $550 million conservation program over six year, but consumer advocates fought to scale back the program duration and overall spending. The modified plan calls for $227 million in spending and creates a “check in” ...

St. Louis petitions state politicians to restore net neutrality

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality, a set of regulations intended to protect internet users. Now, leaders of eight St. Louis co-working spaces are calling on Missouri congressional lawmakers to join national efforts that could reverse the commission’s decision. Their call came Wednesday as U.S. Sen. Ed. Markey, D-Mass., filed a petition that would force the U.S. Senate to vote on the future of net neutrality. The 2015 regulations bar ...

Missouri House Moves Meaningless Reform on Payday Lending Forward

Today the Missouri House Financial Institutions Committee passed a bill that purports to regulate payday lending in several ways – some of which appear to be beneficial to consumers. However, HB 2657 currently lacks the real regulatory changes the state of Missouri needs to protect its citizens. In fact, passage of this bill leaves Missouri far behind the regulation of all of our surrounding states. First, and foremost the bill modestly reduces interest limits from 75% to 35%. W ...

Missouri Policies Allow Consumers to Be Overcharged for Drugs

Jefferson City -- Believe it or not, generic medicines can be less expensive than co-pays, making them cheaper to buy outright than with insurance - but your pharmacist may be banned from telling you that. The cost difference doesn’t go to the pharmacist, it doesn’t go to the drug manufacturer, it goes to the middleman: the drug benefit manager. That payback is called a clawback. Clawbacks can range from $2 to $30 a prescription, boosting profits while unfairly charging consumer ...

Missouri bills deregulating utility rates make headway. Consumer protections? Not so much

Bills that would deregulate how MO utility companies set rates are making progress through legislative committees in both the Missouri House and Senate. Another series of bills aimed at increasing consumer protections, however, have all mostly stalled. https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/state_news/missouri-bills-deregulating-utility-rates-make-headway-consumer-protections-not/article_d6de1d28-2c71-11e8-bf32-2f4f0314e123.html ...

Consumers are still waiting….

Your utility company got a break at the first of the year -- why should you have to wait?? “I think it’s incumbent upon utilities to be forthcoming about the amount of money they’re saving from the tax law, so that we can have a public debate about it,” said Coffman. “You’re a regulated monopoly. I don’t understand the justification for keeping that information from the public.” http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/questions-still-abound-about-what-tax-reform-means-for-your ...

Scam Alert #MOLEG

Special interests have massive $$ campaign. Help us get the word out on a major scam in #MOLEG that will raise utility bills for the most vulnerable among us. And many of our state reps are going along for the ride. Don't be fooled by the bogus "rate cap" bill bought and paid for by Ameren. Sign up here to keep track of how your state rep votes on bills that will raise your utility rates: https://moconsumers.org/my-missouri-rep-votes/ ...

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