Connecticut House of Representatives passes Take Back Our Grid Act

The Connecticut House of Representatives voted to pass sweeping changes to power companies following their delayed response to Tropical Storm Isaias.

News 12 Staff

Oct 1, 2020, 3:02 PM

Updated 1,353 days ago

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The Connecticut House of Representatives voted to pass sweeping changes to power companies following their delayed response to Tropical Storm Isaias.
After Tropical Storm Isaias, Eversource and United Illuminating were blasted for their slow response getting the power back on. Nearly 1 million customers were in the dark for 10 days.
The House overwhelmingly passed the Take Back Our Grid Act Wednesday, which will penalize power companies monetarily if they take too long to get the lights back on.
After four days in the dark, customers would get a $25 credit each day, along with up to $250 back on spoiled food and medications.
"Our goal is to look out for the customers, and I think the energy bill does that," says state House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz.
Eversource has warned that the plan could jack up bills.
"If you set a restoration deadline by law, we must work to abide by that deadline, which will come at a massive cost," says Eversource CEO Jim Judge.
"If I was him, that's what I would say. I would scare the consumers into thinking, 'Yeah you're going to pay more for these responsibilities,'" says Aresimowicz.
It will go on to the Senate Thursday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Connecticut House approved nine other bills, including one that would make it faster to count absentee ballots in the November election. In Tuesday night's presidential debate, President Donald Trump cast doubt on whether ballots can be counted in time.
"If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can't go along with that," he said.
The bill also requires an election monitor in Bridgeport to check for "irregularities" in the November election. Federal funds would pay for the monitor.
Last year, absentee ballot canvassers working for Mayor Joe Ganim came under scrutiny for questionable activities. In spite of the allegations, the Connecticut Supreme Court later allowed Ganim's primary win to stand.
No coronavirus-related legislation was on the agenda.
"The problem with COVID-related bills is, they cost money. And so, No. 1, the federal government needs to continue to step up," says state Rep. Matt Ritter. "And No. 2, given our budget situation, we have to wait, really, to see where we are."
Republicans say Wednesday's session was all for show to score political points in November.
"None of these bills on the agenda today had to be done today. They could have waited until January to be done," says state Rep. Themis Klarides.


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