The Senate’s Commerce Committee this week will help decide the fate of a bill which would deregulate Iowa’s electric utilities. The electric deregulation bill has been stalled in the House, where leaders haven’t been able to round up enough “yes” votes. Concessions will be made as lawmakers try to strike a deal on the bill. Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal says there should be an across-the-board cut in electric rates, and Republicans like House Majority Leader Christopher Rants say they’re willing to take a look at his proposal.Bill backers hope to get Senate approval of the measure to pressure House members to pass it. House Speaker Brent Siegrist says they haven’t given up on the restructuring yet.But Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says it’s such a complicated issue, he’s not sure the bill will pass the Senate.Iowa’s Consumer Advocate and the senior citizens’ group, A-A-R-P, are vocal opponents of the bill, but Iverson says there are other reasons support for the bill is eroding. He says it’s a complex issue that’s creating a lot of mixed signals for the public.Iverson is pressuring Senators to support the bill.
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