Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has appointed Senators Kevin Thomas, James Gaughran, and James Sanders, Jr., to serve on the Legislative Commission on the Future of the Long Island Power Authority. Senator Kevin Thomas will be serving in the capacity of co-chair.
Enacted as part of the 2022-23 budget, the commission was created to investigate and report to the legislature on the establishment of a public power model for the operation of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which currently contracts its utility operations to a third-party service provider. This model has failed Long Island ratepayers in multiple ways, including in its responses to Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020. The new commission aims to provide the legislature with the specific actions, legislation, and timeline necessary to restructure LIPA into a true publicly owned power authority before December 31, 2025.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Steps to reimagine how the Long Island Power Authority provides electric service to Long Islanders are long overdue. After continuous reports of high rates, shoddy services, and lack of accountability by LIPA’s service provider, we must put power back in the people’s hands. I am proud to appoint Senator Thomas, Senator Gaughran, and Senator Sanders to the Legislative Commission on the Future of the Long Island Power Authority to study the pathways to beginning this transition. I am confident they have the expertise necessary to deliver real results for the utility consumers.”
Appointed Co-Chair Senator Kevin Thomas said, “It is an honor to be named Co-Chair of the Commission on the Future of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). I thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for entrusting me to represent LIPA customers. As Chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee and a Nassau County resident, I know how crucial utility services are to our overall quality of life. Long Island residents deserve to have safe, reliable, economic service without the fear of long-term outages, there must be better performance, oversight and accountability. I am eager to hear from stakeholders on concerns and suggestions for implementing a new public power model. I look forward to working with this Commission to issue a thorough report with public power recommendations that will always put Long Island consumers first.”
Appointee Senator James Gaughran said, “I want to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for her unwavering support for Long Island. I look forward to working with my colleagues, and key stakeholders, to establish a path to finally bring public power to Long Island.”
Appointee Senator James Sanders said, “I am looking forward to serving on this very important commission, with an eye of examining ways LIPA can provide quality service, and efficient response time to outages during storms and natural disasters, not only on Long Island but to the parts of Queens and New York City where LIPA provides service.”