Burton Explains Committee Bills

The first month of the 2013 Mississippi legislative session has been busy, according to state Sen. Terry Burton.

The Senate Energy Committee, which Burton chairs, this week passed measures that would help Mississippi Power pay for the construction of the lignite plant in Kemper County.

Burton says it makes sense to allow Mississippi Power to issue private bonds for financing. Burton said the plant cost would remain at $2.4 billion.

"They do need some bonding authority for private bonds, not public bonds. These are not state bonds. I want everybody to know that," Burton said. "This would be something that Mississippi Power would go out and finance themselves, and with interest rates the way they are right now in the private sector, it's something I think would benefit Mississippi Power, and ultimately, the customers of Mississippi Power."

Another bill would allow the company to phase in rate increases over several years.

The House Public Utilities Committee also passed the bills.

Each bill would have to be approved by the full House and Senate.