Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that the New York State Senate has passed legislation he cosponsors to greatly strengthen oversight of LIPA. The legislation would help make LIPA more transparent and accountable to its ratepayers.
“LIPA ratepayers pay some of the nation’s highest utility costs; we have every right to expect and demand more from LIPA. This legislation will bring a new level of transparency, accountability, and oversight to LIPA, all of which are sorely needed. I’m pleased that the Senate has approved these new protections for LIPA ratepayers,” said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the Senate’s Energy Committee.
Under the legislation, LIPA would be subject to regular and comprehensive independent management and operations audits undertaken by the New York State Department of Public Service. The first such audit would be initiated immediately after the legislation becomes law, followed by a second audit which would begin no later than December 15, 2015. Subsequent audits would have to be conducted at least once every five years.
The legislation would also enable LIPA customers to file complaints about LIPA issues with the New York State Division of Consumer Protection. The Division would be empowered to investigate and mediate these complaints or refer them to the proper state or local agencies where appropriate. Currently, LIPA customers are not able to file complaints about LIPA with an outside agency.
The legislation has also been approved by the Assembly and will be sent to Governor Cuomo for consideration. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.