- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Latest on the Missouri special Legislative session that began Monday (all times local):

6 p.m.

Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf is calling on Gov. Eric Greitens to expand the scope of his special session.

Schaaf on Monday introduced three bills including a prohibition on lobbyist gifts for lawmakers, limits on when certain public officials can become lobbyists after their terms, and a provision requiring politically active nonprofits to disclose major donors.

“Governor, if you’re going to call a special session for a gift ban, please go ahead and expand this one,” Schaaf said. “If you don’t expand your call, please don’t call us into another special session.”

Lawmakers are technically prohibited from voting on legislation outside the scope of the governor’s proclamation for convening a special session.

Greitens called the session to discuss proposals that would allow metal manufacturers to negotiate lower rates for utilities with large utilities companies, such as Ameren.

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5:30 p.m.

Missouri Senators on Monday convened to discuss a bill that supporters, including the governor, say will bring more jobs to the southeast corner of the state.

But some Senators immediately took the floor to discuss Senate rules and Gov. Eric Greitens’ decision to call the extra session.

Sen. Rob Schaaf and Sen. Doug Libla slammed the governor’s description of legislators as “career politicians.” They also criticized a nonprofit run by the governor’s campaign staff that had launched attack ads on both senators.

The proposal at issue would allow electric companies to negotiate rates lower than the cost of service for aluminum smelters and steel-works facilities in the area surrounding New Madrid. Critics say it could allow large utilities companies such as Ameren to raise electric rates for average households.

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4:30 p.m.

The Missouri House has gaveled in for a special session that supporters say could bring jobs to the southeast part of the state.

About a dozen lawmakers gathered in the chamber for a prayer, and then House Speaker Todd Richardson adjourned without discussion.

The legislation that will likely be considered during the session includes a provision that allows special rates for aluminum smeltering and steel-works facilities. Supporters say it will spur job growth in an economically struggling region of the state.

Critics say it could allow large utilities companies such as Ameren to raise electric rates for average households.

A committee hearing for the House legislation is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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10:25 a.m.

Missouri lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday to consider legislation that could make it easier to open a steel mill in the southeast part of the state.

Lawmakers will consider a proposal that would allow the state Public Service Commission to approve special rates for aluminum smeltering and steel-works facilities, which need a lot of electricity.

A city official from New Madrid, Missouri, said the bill could attract a steel mill to the area. It could also entice a Switzerland-based company to reopen part of an old Noranda aluminum smelter that closed last year. The companies could potentially bring about 500 jobs to the area.

But some lawmakers and consumer advocates worry that the cheaper rates for certain businesses will raise utilities prices for average households.

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