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Eversource crews make repairs following Tropical Storm Isaias in August.

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut’s Senate unanimously passed a bill aimed at changing the way utility companies are regulated.

The Senate passed the bill in a 35-0 vote on Thursday.

It's one of 10 bills it took up on Thursday.

The state House of Representatives voted on them on Wednesday.

The big item on the House's Wednesday agenda was the bill called “Take back our grid.”

Around 10:30 p.m., the House of Representatives overwhelming passed it.

Lawmakers spent hours debating it. 

The legislation is aimed at changing how utility companies are run, create more transparency and improve how storms are handled.

It transitions utility companies to a performance-based system and gives refunds after 96 hours of outages. 

"This bill was born out of what I would call the perfect storm," said Rep. Charles Ferraro. 

It would also limit profits made by utility companies, it gives state regulators more time to review rate hikes, and would give refunds to customers who lose food or medication because of an extended power outage.

This is in direct response to Tropical Storm Isaias in August and intense criticism over huge power outages that lasted for days.

"We believe some of these changes are going to change the way they respond to storms and say we have to respond very, very quickly or else," said Rep. Matt Ritter. 

Lawmakers passed the bill 136 to 4. 

RELATED: Lawmakers hear from public, Eversource regarding storm response, rate hikes

Some of the other bills in this week's special session deal with cleaning up and redeveloping brown sites, which are sites in the state that are contaminated.

RELATED: Regulating utilities, absentee ballots on the table as special session starts Tuesday

There’s also a bill to address funding for school construction projects.

The Senate will take up the "Take back our grid" and other bills on Thursday. There could be another session Friday.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(8) comments

rick be

Yes,Duffy,just like the 75 mile cord from Millstone.

rick be

Dear,"gothelittele",

your comment seems to have disappeared,maybe 3 cannot handle the truth?

Competition is the only thing that can save Corrupticut's power grid.

gothelittle

Seems to be the best way to handle the rising costs from state-mandated "green" initiatives - solar farms causing erosion and other environmental damage to nearby farmlands. After all, states can go into more debt than companies can. Then we can wind up with rolling blackouts like in California. Yes, having the state own the power grid will definitely allow us to get far worse before the system collapses entirely.

Brian C. Duffy

Oh little brain, the solar farms aren't damaging the "nearby farmlands", in fact they are the nearby (and vacant tobacco) farmlands in CT. Geotextiles and grass seeding prevents erosion in the new Simsbury solar farm installation for example. Better than having the pesticide poisoned tobacco soil get churned up for more McMansions or having the land sit there slowly eroding with it's dilapidated tobacco sheds for 'nostalgia'.

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville

rick be

If a solar farm will actually be able to supply numerous customers,they should get off the grid and hook up with them.I like the idea of small nuclear reactors powering towns like they do our carriers and submarimes.Competition is the answer not more laws.

Brian C. Duffy

I'm 3 miles from the solar farm. How do I exactly get off the grid and hook up to the farm, a long extension cord?

rick be

Maybe our comments passed in the dark of cyberspace.

rick be

Does the Guvna need them for anything except

to wipe his glasses? Why don't the useless curs

legalize pot and Sports Betting for OTB and

the Indians?

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