Senate Sends Settlement Bills to Governor

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The state Senate has approved two House-passed bills that codify a settlement between the Public Service Commission and Mississippi Power Co. over its Kemper County power plant.

Meanwhile, Mississippi Supreme Court justices want parties to answer more questions in an appeal challenging the constitutionality of a state law that would allow Mississippi Power to collect money to pay for the Kemper plant before it starts generating electricity.

Senators voted 49-2 Thursday for House Bill 894, which lets the PSC approve a multi-year rate plan for the plant. They voted 46-5 for House Bill 1134, which allows Mississippi Power to sell up to $1 billion in bonds to pay for Kemper construction and financing costs over $2.4 billion.

Gov. Phil Bryant must now decide whether to sign the bills.

Mississippi Power has sent notification letters to its customers that the net effect of its requested 21% rate increase will be reduced to 18.3%, if the PSC approves all of its filings.