Public service

Charlie Crist announces ‘Affordable Florida for All’ plan and targets Public Service Commission reform

Rep. by Charlie Christ campaign for governor of Florida unveiled the first part of a new policy plan aimed at making life in the Sunshine State more affordable for Floridians. It’s aptly called the “Affordable Florida for All” plan, and two more parts of the proposal are set to be unveiled later this week.

Crist announced the plan at a Monday press conference in Miami, where he was joined by the vice mayor of North Miami Beach Michael Joseph, wife of the Miami Gardens Council Katrina Wilson and others.

The first part of the plan focuses on the Public Service Commission (CFP), which Crist’s campaign says is now “in the pocket of major utilities and acts more like a lap dog than a watchdog” while “wages and the rate of wage growth in Florida are well below the national average.

Govt. Ron DeSantis only made the problem worse, argues Crist’s campaign, citing signed legislation that halving the Sadowski Affordable Housing Fund and hurt owners with changes to home insurance regulations.

“As long as this governor takes giant campaign contributions from electric utilities and then quietly watches the PSC approve their outrageous increases,” Crist’s campaign said.

Crist’s solution: sweeping changes to the policies and membership of the PSC, including making its members accountable to state residents at the polls by allowing Floridians to elect them.

In addition, Crist is asking for changes to the law so that the governor can directly appoint members of the Commission and Office of Public Counsel without having to choose from a list of candidates “hand-picked by public services.”

The Governor now fills vacancies in the PSC by selecting a list of candidates provided by the Public Service Commission Nominations Council. The governor’s choice must be confirmed by the Florida Senate.

This, among other changes, will end “outrageous increases in electricity rates and reform utility regulation,” Crist’s campaign argued.

Crist’s plan also includes commitments to invest in clean, low-cost energy solutions, including electric vehicle charging stations, expanding solar energy efforts and repealing legislation preventing governments premises to restrict the use of natural gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing.

“When I was governor (previously), I attacked power companies and demanded lower rates for working families (in Florida),” Crist said in a statement. “I appointed consumer-focused regulators who were on the people’s side, not the profit side. And my Affordable Florida for All plan is our campaign promise that once I get in power, I will do it again. »

A former Republican governor running to reclaim Florida’s highest office as a Democrat, Crist faces the agriculture commissioner Fried Nikki and state Sen. Annette Taddeo, among others, in the Democratic primary.

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