Pennsylvania looks at cap rates

PENNSYLVANIA - Gov. Ed Rendell's chief of staff says a new law to help Pennsylvania consumers cope with sticker shock once electric-rate caps expire in the coming years may be worked out by negotiators as part of a state budget deal.

Greg Fajt, a lead budget negotiator for the Democratic governor, says lawmakers are interested in phasing in the higher rates, rather than let them hit all at once.

Rate caps are scheduled to expire for 85 percent of Pennsylvania's electric customers in 2010 and 2011.

It's a looming problem that's drawn the attention of state lawmakers. Fajt says the administration is leaving negotiations over the fine points to the General Assembly.

Speaking with reporters, Fajt said he remains optimistic that a budget deal can be struck before the state's fiscal year ends June 30.


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