NY Governor Hochul Vetoes Bill to Assess Utility Affordability Crisis

Advocates call for Governor Hochul to include the legislation in her budget


Clean Water

For Immediate Release

Last week, the day before Thanksgiving, Governor Hochul vetoed A7554-B/S5451-C, a bill to assess New York’s utility affordability crisis. The bill, passed this legislative session, would have, for the first time, required public water utilities to report data on the unaffordability of their service to the Public Service Commission (PSC). Under the bill, the PSC would be required to compile and publish this data, along with data from gas and electric utilities, to reveal the scale and extent of the utility affordability crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food & Water Watch Senior New York Organizer Eric Weltman issued the following statement:

“We are in the dark about New York’s hidden utility affordability crisis. We don’t know how many New Yorkers have lost their water or are at risk of doing so. This legislation is essential to understanding the scale of New York’s crisis in unpaid bills, water shutoffs, and other affordability problems. It is imperative that Governor Hochul include this legislation allowing us to measure this crisis in her budget. As the pandemic persists and inflation soars, the state must deploy every tool in its toolbox to maintain reliable and affordable access to water in New York.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]