Lt. Gov. McKee Introduces Legislation to Improve Emergency Preparation
Sunday, January 07, 2018
“Rhode Island already experienced one mishandled storm this year and bearing in mind tomorrow’s forecast, the time to pass legislation is now. This is a common-sense plan to hold the utility company accountable and protect Rhode Island families and businesses in the case of an emergency. If the utility company can abide by similar guidelines in Massachusetts, they should do the same in Rhode Island,” said McKee.
The legislation is modeled after Massachusetts law with input from the Division of Public Utilities & Carriers, municipal leaders, the League of Cities and Towns and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
According to McKee's press release, the legislation will include five main provisions:
Performance standards: The DPUC will establish performance standards for acceptable emergency preparation and response for investor-owned utility companies. Failure to meet the standards will result in penalties of up to $100,000 daily per violation.
Emergency response plans: Utility companies will be required to submit annual emergency response plans to the DPUC. Failure to file will result in a fine of $500 per day. If the utility company fails to follow the emergency response plan, the company may not recover its storm-associated costs by charging the ratepayers.
Credits for ratepayers: All fines paid by utility companies for violating this legislation will be credited back to Rhode Island ratepayers.
RIEMA liaison: Investor-owned utility companies must designate an employee to be present at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency when the State Emergency Operations Center is activated.
Community liaisons: Investor-owned utility companies must designate an employee to serve as a community liaison for each municipality. Each community liaison will provide cities and towns with at least 3 outage reports per day.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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