Mississippi bill sets limited regulatory power over utility cooperatives

mississippi state house elp

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A bill setting limits on the Mississippi's Public Service Commission's regulatory power over electrical cooperatives is one step from becoming law.

The Senate voted unanimously Monday to pass House Bill 1139, sending it to Gov. Phil Bryant for his approval or veto.

The measure followed months of disputes between the utility regulator and cooperatives. The commission claimed certain powers, while cooperatives said the commission was illegally overreaching. The measure allows commissioners to require energy efficiency programs and hook up residential solar panels. But it doesn't allow commissioners to force cooperatives to meet particular standards for those programs.

Cooperatives argue their members can vote to oust board members if they don't like a cooperative's standards. Of Mississippi's 25 cooperatives, 14 are also under the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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