Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Highlights

Open
AARP Real Possibilities

 

FREE FUN!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

Florida

Are Utility Rate Hikes Ahead?

AARP and other consumer advocates say Public Service Commission needs reform

Florida State Page News March 2011

Nancy Argenziano, who quit the Florida PSC when her second-term nomination failed, has become a critic of it. AARP backs legislation to limit communications between utilities and the commission. — Tristan Spinski

It might face even more resistance this year. While the Senate put the bill on a fast track last year, new Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said the reintroduced legislation must go through the usual committee process. House leaders have expressed little interest in the measure. "I really don't have an indication how this [the legislation] will go," Fasano said. "But the need is still there."

Nancy Argenziano, a former Republican state senator who abruptly quit the PSC last fall after her reappointment was turned down by a nominating commission, said Fasano's bill doesn't have a chance.

"You're never going to get a PSC ethics bill through the legislature," Argenziano said. "Utilities are one of the legislature's biggest cash cows. Utilities give to campaigns, and they tell the legislature, 'This is what we want you to do.' "

Florida's electric utilities contributed $3.7 million in direct contributions to parties and candidates during last year's elections, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

Another development could also mean higher energy costs for consumers. State legislators are seeking to encourage the use of solar, biomass and other renewable fuels by giving utilities authority to charge customers the higher costs of going green.

Utilities, though, defend the plan. "Other states are moving far more quickly than Florida in solar energy — and here, we're the Sunshine State," said Mark Bubriski, an FPL spokesman. "But moving toward renewable energy also can attract industries and bring jobs. And that's important right now."

John Kennedy is a reporter covering government and politics based in Tallahassee, Fla.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members save 20% on digital hearing aids with AARP® Hearing Care Program from HearUSA.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can locate discounts via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder mobile app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.