Sen. Carson presents bill to improve the record keeping of the Public Utilities Commission at public hearing

Posted: January 30, 2019 | Energy, Utilities and Technology, Senator Carson

AUGUSTA — A bill submitted by Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell, to require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to permanently keep all records of complaints received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee on Tuesday.

LD 68, “An Act to Improve the Record Keeping of the Public Utilities Commission,”  requires that in addition to keeping records of proceedings, investigations and formal public hearings, the PUC must keep a record of complaints, including results and conclusions such as orders, findings, decisions and settlement agreements.

“One of my constituents from Freeport filed a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission many years ago. When he asked for a record of his complaint, he was told the commission does not keep records of all complaints,” said Sen. Carson.  “By requiring that the PUC keep a permanent record of complaints, this bill helps make sure customers receive the service they deserve from companies and the justice they deserve from the state.”

Gary Remal, the constituent who brought this issue to Sen. Carson’s attention, also spoke in favor of the bill.

“I have been told by the commission that, unlike other court decisions, the PUC destroys agreements and supporting documents after several years,” said Mr. Remal. “I was never told this when I filed a complaint and assumed it was permanently preserved.”

No one spoke in opposition to LD 68 at the hearing.

LD 68 faces further action in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee as well as votes in the House and Senate.