Through my work on the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, we have been able to pass legislation that is intended to help keep electric rates in check for our families and businesses. In 2019 I supported Senate Bill 69, authorizes an independent study to evaluate the rates being charges by public utilities, electric co-ops and municipal utilities throughout the state.
The study will also evaluate other factors related to utilities in Kansas, such the impact of taxes on utilities, whether electric rates are impacting economic development in our state, the potential impact of deregulation of electric vehicle charging stations, and the cost to consumers for investments in transmission and renewable generation resources.
A lot of numbers get thrown around in Topeka, but this will give us the unbiased numbers we need to see how Kansas rates compare with other states and to drill down into what's really driving rate increases.
In 2020, I carried onto the House Floor House Bill 2585 which lowers electric and gas bills by eliminating state income tax for investor-owned utilities. Utilities collect the tax through your bills but don’t pay it to the State for various (legitimate) accounting reasons. By eliminating this tax that was passed on to the consumer, HB2585 is projected to save Kansans over $37 million a year in electric rate costs.
We need to continue to work to find a balance that ensures we have reliable utilities at a price our families and business owners can afford.