Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) and Assemblyman Anil Beephan (R,C-East Fishkill) held a press conference last Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, to announce legislation they have introduced requiring the Public Service Commission (PSC) to hold in-person public hearings in territories where they are considering rate hikes.
Ratepayers have expressed their concern and frustration at paying some of the highest rates in the nation but feel cut out of the decision-making process. In the recent New York State Electric and Gas rate case there was no in-person hearing despite a formal request from Slater and Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne. Public input was welcomed through teleconferences or hearings in Albany, and none being conducted in the Hudson Valley.
“Ratepayers deserve to be part of the process when Albany bureaucrats are deliberating on raising rates. The Public Service Commission’s refusal to hold an in-person public hearing is unacceptable and must change. Transparency is paramount especially now as New Yorkers continue to face an affordability crisis. With this new legislation, I hope to see greater transparency and accountability so families, seniors and small businesses are not blindsided with high utility bills,” said Slater.
“We cannot overlook the fundamental right of ratepayers to be heard and informed. By requiring the Public Service Commission to host in-person public hearings within the impacted service territory, we are taking a vital step towards ensuring a fair, transparent and accountable process for all,” said Assemblyman Beephan.