Left to right: Rep. Josh Hurlbert, Rep. Sean Pouche, PCEC General Manager/CEO Dave Deihl, Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer and Rep. Chris Lonsdale

From left to right: Rep. Josh Hurlbert, Rep. Sean Pouche, PCEC General Manager/CEO Dave Deihl, Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer and Rep. Chris Lonsdale

Co-op Leaders Advocate for Members at State Legislative Conference

Jefferson City, Mo. — Around 150 electric cooperative directors, staff and grassroots advocates descended on the Missouri Capitol Jan. 30-31 for the annual State Legislative Conference hosted by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. The event gives Missouri’s electric cooperatives an opportunity to meet one on one with elected officials to help them understand the issues that affect our goal of supplying reliable and affordable electricity to members.

Platte-Clay Electric General Manager/CEO Dave Deihl attended the conference and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time engaging local legislators and statewide officials.

“This was a great opportunity to meet with important decision-makers at the state level who shape policy that affects our consumer-members,” Deihl said. “Co-ops provide an essential service to so many Missourians. We have to ensure our ability to continue to provide safe and reliable electricity to our members.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, himself a member of Gascosage Electric Cooperative, was one of the elected officials to address the group.

“I just want to tell you that anytime you can meet with the electric cooperatives, it’s like meeting with the heart of Missouri, no matter which corner of the state you’re in,” Kehoe said. “I can say you have the utmost respect from lawmakers and that’s not a rural, urban, Democrat or Republican thing. I’m just telling you we know that you changed people’s lives a century ago, and you’re doing it again now, as some of you deploy fiber across the state.”

During the conference those gathered also heard from Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who praised the electric cooperatives for their work and outlined his goals as attorney general.

“I know how important this organization is and what it does for the people of the state of Missouri,” Bailey said. “I don’t know what I would do without good energy at an affordable price in rural Missouri. That is critical to the people that I know and love. This organization is absolutely essential and a critical piece of our infrastructure in Missouri.”

The issues shared with the legislators included grid reliability, rural broadband deployment, sales tax exemptions for some electric distribution and transmission costs and electric cooperative governance.