The state Public Service Commission approved a rule designed to help domestic violence victims escape life threatening situations. The rule, which was introduced by Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, provides a 60-day waiver of initial utility deposits for individuals certified by domestic violence shelters as victims of domestic violence.
“For me and my colleagues, when we see that the Commission was granted the power by law to protect the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens through a modest requirement of the utilities we regulate, we see it as our duty to follow through," Presley said. "No one should have to remain in a dangerous situation because they don’t immediately have the money on hand for a utility deposit. This rule just gives some breathing room for victims to make that decision to leave easier, while still protecting utilities and their customers,” Presley said.
Presley’s rule was modeled after similar measures in Louisiana and Texas, but goes further in protection of confidentiality of victim’s identities and prevention of shifting costs to other utility customers.
The rule will in effect 30 days after it is filed with the Secretary of State's Office