|Posted:||February 22, 2021 04:54 PM|
|From:||Senator John I. Kane|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Water Ratepayer Bill of Rights|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce a companion bill to Rep. Christina Sappey's House Bill 144 in the Senate. The legislation creates a water ratepayer bill of rights.
I have been contacted by numerous constituents that are concerned with the possible sale of a local water authority to a public water utility. They are concerned that the ratepayers do not have a voice or vote in this process.
The purpose of the legislation is to ensure residential customers all over the state have input when a municipal water or wastewater authority may be acquired by a public water utility. This comprehensive bill will require a selling utility to conduct a ratepayer referendum where customers will be able to voice issues they may have with a possible water utility acquisition. This bill will also require water and wastewater utilities to publish an annual report with information regarding average residential billing amounts. This will prevent utilities from inflating their costs to the residential consumer.
The legislation will ensure accountability of the utilities that serve residents where they live, work, and raise their families. We need a system that gives ratepayers a voice and shared information to ensure their families are receiving safe services.
Ratepayers deserve a fair deal. Please join me so we can create a better system that provides ratepayers with transparency and rights.
Introduced as SB452