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Eye On Boise

Pre-set utility rate bill clears Senate

The Senate has voted 31-2 in favor of SB 1123, legislation that allows utilities to seek binding advance rate-making decisions from the PUC to cover costs of new power generation or transmission facilities. “This provides a little bit of certainty in this marketplace which is very uncertain,” said Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, the bill’s sponsor. Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise, spoke out against the bill. “It switches the risk from the utility onto the ratepayers … by locking the rate in before the project even begins construction,” she said. “It’s a guarantee of cost recovery, whether or not the project ever provides useful service to the ratepayers.” But the only other senator to join her in opposing the bill was Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise. The measure now heads to the House side.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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