Signatures Top 60,000 for Utility Ballot Measure

Posted By: Garnie Holmes Industry, Legislative/Regulatory,

A political committee has submitted more than 60,000 valid petition signatures to the state Division of Elections as it tries to get a measure on the 2020 ballot that could revamp Florida’s electric utility industry.

The committee Citizens for Energy Choices had submitted 60,880 signatures as of mid-day Tuesday, drawing closer to a 76,632-signature threshold that would trigger a review of the proposed ballot language by the Florida Supreme Court, according to the Division of Elections website. The proposal calls for wholesale and retail electricity markets to “be fully competitive so that electricity customers are afforded meaningful choices among a wide variety of competing electricity providers.” It would establish a right for customers to choose electricity providers and would limit the role of investor-owned electric utilities --- private companies such as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power Co. --- to constructing, operating and repairing transmission and distribution systems.

Citizens for Energy Choices had raised $1.135 million as of Dec. 31, with all of the money coming from the non-profit group Coalition for Energy Choice, Inc. The committee had spent about $574,000, with most of the money going to petition gathering and verification, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Article reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida.