Perry Wants Electricity Discount Restored

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Governor Rick Perry says the state should resume a program that provides discounts for poor electricity customers.

In a letter to the Texas Public Utility Commission, Perry asks the agency to submit a budget proposal that includes the discount program.

The program was created in 1999 as part of an electric deregulation law. It provides rate discounts of ten percent for low-income Texans.

The discount is financed by a fee on electric bills -- typically about 65 cents per bill. But recent state budgets have redirected the generated funds to other areas of the budget.

Perry says the state should restart the discount or stop collecting the fees that are meant to fund it.

Three of Perry's opponents in the November election -- Democrat Chris Bell and independents Kinky Friedman and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn -- have also said the discount should be restored.