TRENTON, NJ -  State Assemblyman and Franklin resident Joe Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset) sent a bill to the Assembly Speaker which will prohibit public utilities from terminating service for nonpayment unless the customer is provided a certified letter at least 10 business days prior to scheduled termination date, was released by the Assembly Telecommunication Committee on Monday.

“Laws regulating disconnection of public utilities in New Jersey must be clear and must help protect the elderly, families with children, disabled, and people with medical conditions,” Danielsen said. “Disconnection of public utilities can be a health hazard for our most vulnerable populations. Residents should be ensured notification of disconnection in advance so that they are able to respond and resolve the matter quickly.”

The intent of the legislation is to create a statute for termination of service consistent with the rules and regulations of the BPU approved tariffs of public utilities and current public utility practice, according to a news release.

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Danielsen aims to correct the injustice of people having their utilities shut off without an exact time of when that may occur, according to a news release. 

If this bill is signed into law it would amend current law to provide that a public utility is not to terminate a customer’s service for nonpayment unless the public utility provides the customer a certified letter no less than 10 business days prior to the scheduled termination date notifying the customer that the customer’s service will be terminated for nonpayment on the scheduled termination date, according to a news release. 

Now that the bill has cleared the Telecommunication Committee it will go to the general assembly for a vote.

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