Over the past several weeks, the Missouri Senate approved Senate Bill 564, which changes the way utilities are regulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission and provides incentives to investor-owned utility companies looking to modernize its electrical infrastructure.

Mike Cierpiot

Currently much of Missouri’s electrical infrastructure is outdated, causing utility rates to fluctuate for residents and businesses. As a legislative body, we determined that modernizing the grid means lower electricity prices for families, lower operating costs for Missouri businesses, as well as making it more robust from cyber and terrorists threats.

In addition to cost, modernizing the grid allows utility companies to upgrade their electrical infrastructure in order to improve its reliability for all customers. A modernized grid is easier to repair, resulting in shorter outages.

I believe this legislation moves Missouri toward modernization, is cost-efficient and imposes strict regulatory oversight with numerous consumer protections.

In other areas, our office recently received an important note from the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) regarding improvements to a program allowing Missourians to track the status of their tax returns. Under the improved program, Missourians can sign up via e-mail or text to receive automatic alerts regarding the status of their state tax returns through the Missouri Return Inquiry System.

To enroll in the program, Missourians only need their Social Security number, filing status and their anticipated refund amount or their balance due. Information will be available within 48 hours of filing electronically or four weeks after mailing a paper return. So far, more than 14,000 taxpayers have signed up to receive alerts through the system.

To access the Missouri Return Inquiry System and sign up for automatic alerts, please visit dor.mo.gov/returnstatus.

For information about committees or my sponsored legislation for the 2018 legislative session, please visit my official Missouri Senate webpage at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573)751-1464.