Missouri Senators have given preliminary approval to a bill that would push phone rates up across the state. Kelly Just has the story from Jefferson City.
After three and a half hours of heated floor debate, Senators agreed to give Missouri phone companies more freedom when it comes to setting fees.
If the bill becomes law, local phone companies can charge a dollar-and-a-half more each month for basic service.
But Bill Sponsor, Wayne Goode says those increases will be offset when long distance carriers start competing for local phone business in many areas of the state.
Missouri Senators who voted against the rates increase say phone companies are just looking to make a quick buck.
But Goode disagrees.
He says lawmakers worked hard to reach a compromise that protects the interests of consumers as well as the telecommunications industry.
The bill needs final approval from the Senate, before moving on for debate in the House.
From the State Capital, I'm Kelly Just.