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State Senator From San Antonio Wants Ratepayer Relief Addressed In Special Session

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Screenshot of Senate Video Feed
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Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio speaks on the Texas Senate Floor in late May 2021.

Democratic State Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio wants Gov. Greg Abbott to add ratepayer relief to one of two upcoming special legislative sessions.

The senator saw his amendment to pay ratepayers $350 die in the final hours of the regular legislative session.

“At its peak, Winter Storm Uri left close to 4.5 million homes and businesses without power, killed more than 100 people, and caused an estimated $295 billion in damage. The storm will become the single biggest insurance claim event in state history. It will be a stain on Texas forever,” Gutierrez said. “The Senate did its part to reprice the unprecedented and unacceptable rate hikes and worked diligently to get a $350 check for every ERCOT ratepayers, but the House chose to take care of the multi-billion dollar utility companies and leave Texas families out in the cold once again."

According to a news release from the senator's office, his request comes on the heels of a legislative session in which the electric utilities and associated private companies received a bailout but most ratepayers saw little, if any, compensation for their troubles. Families across Texas have yet to see any assistance for broken pipes, spoiled food and water, lost wages, damages to their homes, or deceased loved ones due to the storm, the news release said.

“You have made clear that you intend to call the Legislature back into special session to address election integrity, redistricting, and allocation of federal assistance, but our job will not be done until ratepayers are taken care of," Gutierrez said. "To do anything less will result in a de facto tax on the 26 million Texas customers let down by ERCOT."

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