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Bill seeks to ease post-storm power outages for Floridians

Cost to harden power lines would be passed on to customers

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(Scott Olson/Getty Images)


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Utilities would have to come up with a 10-year plan to strengthen and bury power lines and be allowed to pass along the cost to customers under a bill passed by the Florida Senate.

The Senate voted 37-2 on Friday for a bill that seeks to reduce the time needed to restore power after hurricanes.

The cost to harden lines would be passed on to customers through a separate item on their bills, rather than through a general rate increase. That means all customers would pay the same, regardless of how much power they use.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Joe Gruters said the cost to customers would be minimal compared to long term costs of continually repairing lines after hurricanes.

A companion House bill is awaiting a floor vote.