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Az and other states still lag in getting assistance to struggling renters

State and local officials disbursed $1.5 billion in rental assistance during June to help households falling behind on rent and utilities, but the money that has reached renters so far — a little more than $3 billion — is just a fraction of the $46 billion approved by Congress.... Read more»

Arizona Corporation Commission votes to strengthen policies on power disconnection

On April 14 the commission voted 3-2 to preliminarily approve a package of measures regulating when utilities can shut off service for nonpayment. ... Read more»

Tribal officials outline infrastructure gap ‘big as the Grand Canyon’

Witnesses at the House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Wednesday cited statistics that depict a bleak picture of infrastructure on reservations, including water and electricity, and said that even those numbers were likely overly optimistic. “It’s time for America to support the Navajo Nation and all Indigenous communities and invest in utility infrastructure,” said Walter Haase, general manager of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.... Read more»

Tucson, utilities offer relief on bills during pandemic

A new Tucson Utility Bill Assistance fund has been developed by Pima County and the City of Tucson for qualifying residents experiencing financial hardship resulting from the pandemic. Private sector companies such as Tucson Electric Power, Tucson Water and Southwest Gas are participating in this aid, as funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis or until exhausted. ... Read more»

Ruling sets up renewable energy fight between Az Corp Comm, lawmakers

The Arizona Supreme Court may have opened the door to allowing the legislature to overrule the Corporation Commission on renewable energy standards.... Read more»

O’Connor wins enough write-in votes for GOP Corp Comm nomination

The Republican Party will have three candidates for the Corporation Commission after Jim O'Connor earned enough write-in votes to qualify for the November ballot.... Read more»

Utilities and solar advocates clash over Corporation Comission races

Three of the five seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission are up for grabs. While the regulatory body is not as well known as others, its decisions regulate energy production and expenses for utilities. The ACC has perhaps the biggest impact on your monthly bills of any state agency.... Read more»

ASU Foundation links utility funds to anti-solar push

The nonprofit fundraising arm of Arizona State University gave $100,000 to a shadowy political group that spent at least $2.4 million on TV ads attacking state candidates who sided with the solar industry during last year's election.... Read more»

Rogue Columnist

Keeping tabs on the fourth branch of government

You might be tempted to pass on a story in Sunday's Arizona Republic with the process-y headline, "Case Asks Who Must Pay Taxes for Utility." Don't. It's about a case that's a rare window into how power and influence work in the state. Power, especially, at what insiders call "the fourth branch of government," the Arizona Corporation Commission.... Read more»