No one should go without access to power and water during the middle of a pandemic. Thankfully, Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Sen. Shevrin Jones have filed bills (HB 1435/SB 1860) to help Florida’s families #KeepTheLightsOn. But they need our help. Urge your locally elected State House Representative and State Senator to cosponsor HB 1435/SB 1860.
COVID-19 and its associated economic impacts have taken a heavy toll on Floridians. Many of our friends, neighbors, and family members have lost their jobs and livelihoods. These dire circumstances have forced many households to choose between necessities like rent, groceries, medicine, and utilities.
Unfortunately, as utility bills go unpaid because of pandemic-related economic hardships, our state’s largest utilities have disconnected thousands of households for non-payment. Every month, utility companies disconnect over 100,000 Florida homes from their power due to mounting debt, with over 420,000 households affected and 42,000 still without power.
HB 1435/SB 1860 would:
- provide critical financial relief to families by eliminating the utility debt since the start of the pandemic in March 2020,
- stop all utility disconnections by participating utilities until public health and economic conditions improve,
- Eliminate reconnection fees and support utility reconnection for those who have had their power shut off by participating utilities, and
- require participating utilities to commit to best practices in setting up delayed bill payment plans
In times of crisis, Floridians know how to come together and do what’s right for our neighbors and communities. Act now!