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Dane Eagle praises work of Energy & Utility Subcommittee in 2015

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House Energy & Utility Subcommittee Chair Dane Eagle is thanking fellow committee members for their efforts during the 2015 Legislative Session. This week, the committee held its final meeting of the 60-day session.

Among the issues addressed this session include House Bill 7109, the Public Service Commission reform bill designed and passed by Eagle’s committee. Another was House Joint Resolution 865, which proposes two amendments to the Florida Constitution.

“I am so proud of the work product of this committee,” says Eagle, a Cape Coral Republican, in a statement. “It not only embodies the principles of accountability, but it also focuses on transparency and consumer protection.”

Eagle says HB 7109 will enhance public confidence in the PSC while giving customers “fresh perspectives and ideas” from commissioners. At the same time, it will ensure the board retains the best people to make informed decisions.

“I especially want to thank the committee staff for their diligent work and Representative Mike LaRosa for agreeing to shepherd this comprehensive bill through the legislative process,” Eagle added.

Eagle, who is a licensed real estate broker, singled out Rep. Ray Rodrigues for sponsoring HJR 865, a measure giving Florida businesses additional incentives to invest in renewable energy resources by exempting them from property tax assessments.

If passed, Eagle says Florida businesses will have the same opportunities and incentives that are available to homeowners.

Additionally, HB 7109 will enhance accountability by establishing term limits for PSC Commissioners, promotes transparency by requiring the PSC to live stream all meetings, placing a recorded copy of each meeting on its website.

The measure also increases consumer protection by requiring any lobbyist before the PSC Nominating Council to register, and mandate PSC Commissioners to complete annual ethics training.

HB 7109 also prohibits regulated electric utilities from charging customers higher rates (under a tiered-rate structure) due to billing cycle extensions. Utilities would also be required to notify each customer of all available rates within their rate class, with good faith assistance in selecting the best rates.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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