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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Legislature has passed a measure that could allow the biggest electric companies in the state to recover more of their costs for infrastructure improvements from customers.

The bill, approved by the House Wednesday 125-20, affects the nearly 2 million people who use The Empire Electric District, Ameren Corp. and Kansas City Power & Light Co. across the state. Companies would be given more flexibility as to when and how they changed their rates, in response to declining electricity usage.

Proponents say this change will help modernize the state's electrical grid.

Opponents say this could dramatically increase what customers are paying.

The bill next goes to the governor.

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