Monthly Archives: August 2009

PULP Testifies at State Senate Hearing on Telecom Taxes

The New York State Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform held a hearing August 12, 2009 to examine modernizing New York State’s telecommunications tax system. PULP’s Senior Attorney, Lou Manuta, testified as did representatives from the landline, wireless, cable, and satellite television industries. Representatives from the New York State Department of Taxation and Read more…

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Draft State Energy Plan Issued

Governor Paterson on August 10, 2009, announced the issuance of the draft state energy plan by the State Energy Planning Board, which is comprised of state officials from various state agencies, representatives of the Governor, and NYSERDA. The draft plan will be the subject of nine public hearings to allow for public reaction to the Read more…

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Are Utilities Overreaching and Terminating Service to Collect Old Bills After Welfare Payments are Received?

This week PULP received several calls involving the attempts of utilities to terminate electric service after receiving partial payments of arrears from local departments of social services (“DSS”) under New York Social Services Law (“SSL”) Section 131-s. The law requires DSS officials to make a payment of up to four months’ bills to eligible applicants Read more…

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Tenants Struggle to Maintain Utility Service in Owner-Abandoned Building in Foreclosure

We received a call today from a tenant in a multiple dwelling in Brooklyn. Electric and gas utility service had been included in tenants’ rent. The owner stopped paying utility bills and apparently abandoned the property, which is now in foreclosure proceedings. Tenants were notified by both National Grid and Con Edison of impending termination Read more…

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PSC to Revisit Telecom Universal Service Policies

In a brief Notice Establishing Universal Service Proceeding issued August 3, 2009, the New York PSC indicated that it will be reexamining its universal service policies for telecommunications. Long overdue, this is a very welcome move. The state universal service mechanisms for high cost service in rural areas, state matching funds for the federal low Read more…

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Lifeline Awareness Week Coming in September; Will it Make a Difference?

The week of September 14th through September 20th will be “National Lifeline Awareness Week,” coordinated by the FCC Federal/State Working Group on Lifeline and Link-Up (of which PULP is one of two consumer advocate members), along with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. Whether the effort Read more…

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