Utility accountability bill backed by Gov. Mills stalls in the House
Democratic legislators who support a takeover of Maine’s two largest electricity utilities have joined with Republicans in opposition to a bill that's designed to bolster accountability for those same companies.
The bill is Gov. Janet Mills’ response to the dismal customer service rankings of Central Maine Power and Versant Power.
It would increase financial penalties for failure to meet certain performance standards, whistleblower protections and a forced sale of a utility if poor service persists.
The Senate initially backed the bill Tuesday, but it stalled in the House after Republicans united with Democratic advocates of an outright utility takeover that failed in the legislature last year but could end up on next year's ballot.
The governor’s proposal is viewed as a threat to that campaign and could face defeat if the House and Senate cannot reconcile their differences before the end of the session.