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Ballot proposal would revamp utility industry

A political committee has spent nearly $400,000 in recent months and submitted 33,863 valid petition signatures as it tries to get a measure on the 2020 ballot that would revamp Florida’s electric utility industry.

The proposal, backed by a committee called Citizens for Energy Choices, calls for wholesale and retail electricity markets to “be fully competitive so that electricity customers are afforded meaningful choices among a wide variety of competing electricity providers.”

It would establish a right for customers to choose electricity providers and would limit the role of investor-owned electric utilities — private companies such as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co. and Gulf Power Co. — to constructing, operating and repairing transmission and distribution systems.

Citizens for Energy Choices registered with the state Division of Elections in late September and had spent $396,515 as of Nov 30, according to state records.

It had raised $434,000, all of which came from the organization Coalition for Energy Choice, Inc. Committees will need to submit hundreds of thousands of valid petition signatures to get proposed constitutional amendments on the 2020 ballot.

During the 2018 elections, they needed to submit 766,200 valid signatures.

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Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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