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Missouri Senate Debates Telecommunications Bill

April 9, 1996
By: Candyce Clifft
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri Senate has begun debate on legislation that could have a serious impact on your phone bill. Candyce Clifft reports from Jefferson City...
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The bill would allow local phone companies to raise rates by a dollar-and-a-half per month for three years.

Bill sponsor Wayne Goode says the regulated increase is not a bad idea, since the federal telecommunications act opens competition in local markets. Proponents say a regulated increase would prevent already established companies from jacking up phone rates to make money before competition could move in and force rates down.

But, Senator Harold Caskey says the bill is a get-rich-quick opportunity for phone companies.

The Senate debated the bill for almost three hours before calling it quits for the night. More debate is expected later this week. Candyce Clifft, KMOX News, Jefferson City.