Ducey says Corporation Commission overstepping its authority

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday the Arizona Corporation Commission has been getting into areas beyond its constitutional authority to set utility rates.

“There’s been a bit of mission creep,” the governor said.

Dr. Vjollca Berisha, senior epidemiologist with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, calls heat “a silent killer.”

Ducey’s comments were most immediately about the report of the death last year of an elderly customer of Arizona Public Service whose power was turned off in the middle of summer because she only paid a part of her bill. It was not until that death became public this past month – and it was learned that APS had shut off power last year to 110,000 customers – that the utility agreed to temporarily suspend cutoffs.

The reports, first unveiled by Phoenix New Times, has led three commissioners to seek to revamp rules about when a utility can shut off power.

But the governor said he’s not sure that the commission is the agency that, by itself, should be setting the rules.

Ducey’s comments did not stop there. 

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