Florida passes bill seeking to ease post-hurricane outages

May 2, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida utilities would have to come up with a 10-year plan to strengthen and bury power lines in an effort to ease post-hurricane power outages under a bill heading to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Senate passed the bill on a 39-1 vote Thursday, the day after the House passed it. The cost to harden lines would be passed on to customers through a separate item on their bills, rather than through a general rate increase. That means all customers would pay the same, regardless of how much power they use.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Joe Gruters said that after Hurricane Irma in 2017, 20 people died because power was out. Twelve of those deaths were at a Hollywood nursing home that lost power.

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