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"I'm interested in the bill because I think it favors the consumer, believe it or not," says Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville).
Senator Norris says the current rate review process for utility companies is lengthy and complicated. He believes streamlining the process will benefit the utilities and customers.
"It would give an opportunity for an annual review rather than every 4 years which is now," says Senator Norris. "When you do have rate increases on a 4 year basis you can have big spikes in those fluctuations."
State Attorney General Bob Cooper has expressed concerns the legislation could allow investor-owned utilities to inflate and raise rates without having to justify the increases. Senator Norris disagrees.
"Give this a try, let's see if that's the case," says Senator Norris. "I think the more frequent review is going to result in more scrutiny rather than less."
David Trusty, a spokesperson for Piedmont, says streamlining the process for rate adjustments doesn't mean costs will automatically go up.
"The perception being that anytime a company like Piedmont goes to the TRA or regulatory agency it's to raise rates," says Trusty. "The truth of the matter is since 2008, some 5 years ago, we've been back to the TRA 7 or 8 times to lower our rates."
Trusty says cutting government red tape for the utility doesn't mean getting rid of oversight.
"Streamlining doesn't mean you cannot be efficient and maintain proper balance between interest of consumers and the interest of the utilities," says Trusty.
Monday, March 11 2013, 11:48 PM CDT
Memphis libraries seeking funding
May 25, 2013 13:07 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The public library system in Memphis is hoping to secure $2.9 million to add employees and increase its collection.
The Memphis Daily News (http://bit.ly/19BANxH) reports the Memphis Public Library & Information Center cites the figures as part of its strategic plan.
A study by the Friends of the Library and the Memphis Library Foundation found that during the past five years, the system's budget has been cut 21 percent and hours were reduced 20 percent.
The goal of the new funding would be to add 47 employees to the 18-location library system and increase the collections budget to $2 million from less than $1 million.
Library director Keenon McCloy says the plan is a "roadmap for the future."
Information from: The Memphis Daily News, http://www.memphisdailynews.com
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for military and civilian aircraft and an increase in business investment.
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Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: RESTAURANT FLAP LEADS TO INTERNET MELTDOWN
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- It isn't exactly to curry favor with your restaurant customers -- even if your specialty isn't curry.