INDIANAPOLIS – This week, State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) sent a letter to Chairman Tim Huston of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), urging the IURC to hold statewide public hearings on proposed rate increases. Her letter comes as a result of multiple Indiana utility companies petitioning the IURC to approve a rate increase to make up for lost revenue due to COVID-19. Sen. Breaux highlighted the struggles that ordinary Hoosiers already face during the pandemic—struggles which would only be amplified if utility rate increases were added.

The full text of her letter to the IURC can be found below:

Dear Chairman Huston,

It has come to my attention that a number of utility companies have submitted a joint petition to the IURC that could result in increased consumer utility rates. Because of the unprecedented circumstances imposed by this pandemic, I strongly urge the IURC to hold statewide public hearings on proposed rate increases.

I understand that the current hardships have had a negative impact on utility companies, but they are certainly not alone. COVID-19 has financially affected, and in some cases devastated, millions of households and businesses across the state. The Department of Workforce Development has received a record number of claims, many from my constituents, still struggling to meet their financial obligations while awaiting receipt of their benefits. The ramifications of this rate increase proposal will have a severe impact on those who are already struggling.

In recent days, I have received a large number of correspondence from constituents in opposition to this proposal. The IURC must take this feedback from the community into consideration. Families most at risk of being negatively impacted by the proposal put forth by the public utilities must be given an opportunity to give testimony on the impact of the proposed rate increases.

I urge you to consider this request and I ask you to give it every consideration that my constituents and every Hoosier rate payer deserves.

I look forward to your prompt response to this request.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean D. Breaux
Assistant Minority Leader
Indiana Senate District 34