Speaker Carl Heastie today announced that he has appointed Assemblymembers Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Stacey Pheffer Amato and Judy Griffin to serve on the Legislative Commission on the Future of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Assemblymember Theile will be serving as co-chair of the commission.
This legislative commission will investigate and report to the Legislature on the establishment of a public power model for the operation of LIPA, including specific actions, legislation and the timeline necessary to restructure LIPA into a true publicly owned power authority.
“LIPA has repeatedly failed its customers when they needed them most and the people of Long Island deserve better,” said Speaker Heastie. “I have the utmost confidence in Assemblymembers Thiele, Pheffer Amato and Griffin to fight to deliver LIPA customers transparency, oversight and accountability.”
“The establishment of this new commission is a huge and necessary step towards making LIPA the transparent and accountable public utility that the ratepayers in the LIPA service area have long deserved,” said Assemblymember Thiele. “The third party management model that LIPA has used for decades has failed time and again. I look forward to working with my colleagues to implement a new transparent model for LIPA that is more efficient and responsive to the public. Finally, the commission has the opportunity to ensure that a new LIPA will be a leader in meeting the state’s climate goals.”
“LIPA ratepayers have suffered from extreme weather events paired with inconsistent service, random blackouts, incredibly long service restoration times and higher rates,” said Assemblymember Pheffer Amato. “As a member of this commission, I will work tirelessly with my colleagues towards delivering a truly public utility for ratepayers that will deliver relief for these hardworking New Yorkers.”
“LIPA’s unacceptable lack of emergency preparation and consistent failure to provide vital customer service has had devastating and costly consequences for their ratepayers, Long Island residents and my constituents. It is long past time that we transition to a truly accountable public utility service,” said Assemblymember Griffin. “I look forward to serving on this important commission and ensuring that Long Islanders receive the reliable service that they need and deserve.”
The commission is required to establish an advisory committee, consisting of no more than 15 members, to actively assist and advise the commission in its duties. The commission is also required to hold at least one public hearing in each of the counties comprising the service area of LIPA by September 30, 2022. No later than December 31, 2022, the commission is required to issue a draft report to the Legislature regarding the establishment of a public power model for the operation of LIPA, followed by another round of public hearings. A final report is due no later than April 1, 2023.