For Immediate Release | 5-27-20
Media Contact | Office of Commissioner Sandra D. Kennedy
Direct | 602-542-3933
Email | SDKennedy-Web@azcc.gov
PHOENIX —Arizona Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy continues to fight for Arizona utility ratepayers, calling on Governor Doug Ducey to work with the Arizona Corporation Commission as temperatures rise throughout the state. Since March, Commissioner Kennedy has sought to collaborate with Governor Ducey and leaders in the Legislature to support Arizonans struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the Governor has declined all opportunities to work with Commissioner Kennedy and the Commission and instead has been focused on appeasing corporate interests. After this Memorial Day weekend, when bars and restaurants throughout the state were packed with revelers who failed to practice social distancing, it is quite clear that this pandemic will continue far longer than it needs to. Commissioner Kennedy remains ready to work with the Governor for long-term solutions. The potential special legislative session focused on COVID-19 response in June poses a prime opportunity for cross-government collaboration.
Utility bills remain one of the largest financial burdens for many Arizonans. Utility customers have received some support during the COVID-19 pandemic, although a coordinated government response has been severely lacking. Commissioner Kennedy continues to propose relief for ratepayers during proceedings at the Commission with approaches including emergency rates, disconnection suspension, customer bill assistance, including relief from Demand Rates and Time of Use Rates, expansion/implementation of Low-Income rates and use of Emergency Tariffs. She has also asked why the Residential Utility Consumer Office (RUCO), which represents residential customers at the Commission as part of the Executive branch, continues to be conspicuously quiet on COVID-19 impacts to ratepayers.
Commissioner Kennedy has noted that “I have seen him work productively across the aisle with Superintendent of Schools Kathy Hoffman. I am holding out hope that Governor Ducey will recognize the overwhelming need thousands of newly-unemployed Arizonans will have for water, electricity, gas, and telecom bill assistance and respond to my office’s request for a collaborative approach with the Arizona Corporation Commission.”
Commissioner Kennedy awaits Governor Ducey’s response. She can be reached at (602) 542-3933.
About Commissioner Kennedy:
Sandra D. Kennedy was re-elected to the Corporation Commission in 2018 on a platform of restoring integrity to the Commission, lowering unjustified utility rate increases, and creating more solar and renewable energy in Arizona, especially roof top solar. Commissioner Kennedy was first elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2008 on a platform of promoting solar energy in Arizona, and as a fierce consumer advocate. She started her public service when she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in November 1986, where she served for six years before successfully becoming a state senator in 1992. She served three terms as State Senator. Sandra was also elected to serve on the Phoenix Union High School Governing Board for a four-year term in 1990, serving concurrently with her last term in the Arizona House and her first term in the State Senate.
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit http://azcc.gov.