To the editor:
We all know that modern life depends on having power in our homes and high-speed internet. When the price of utilities goes up, or when we incur additional costs due to power failures, it is a hardship for many of us. During Covid broadband is essential for many of us to work, visit our doctors, attend school and shop for what we need.
Before she was elected to the New York State Senate in 2018, Senator Jen Metzger, advocated for consumers before the Public Service Commission. Now she is using her expertise to advocate for us in Albany. People who are unable to pay their utility bills during the pandemic will be protected by legislation which Senator Metzger co-sponsored and passed (S8113A). This legislation will protect consumers from having their utilities and phone services terminated through March 31, 2021. Payments would be deferred without penalties or late fees. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, Senator Metzger and Senator James Skoufis advocated for customers of Central Hudson by working to help get reimbursement for food and other costs incurred due to power outages resulting from the storm.
Deficiencies in the broadband services which enable high-speed internet is a common problem in rural New York. In July 2020 Senator Metzger sponsored a bill (S8805) that would recognize access to high-speed internet as a right of all New Yorkers. This bill was passed in the Senate and the Assembly and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Cuomo.
Senator Metzger is smart, experienced, and dedicated to improving the lives of her constituents. She hit the floor running when she joined the New York State Senate in January 2019. Let’s re-elect her for another term in this 2020 election. We need her.