Mayor Rhodes-Conway asks for extension of state’s moratorium on utility shutoffs.

In an open letter, the mayor argued to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin that the state of coronavirus crisis justifies continuing the policy. Photo: Dori, licensed under creative commons.

Author: Sam Buisman

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway urges the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to further extend its pause on utility shutoffs past Sept. 1. 

In a letter released to the public Monday evening, Rhodes-Conway asked the commission to continue Wisconsin’s coronavirus-inspired moratorium on utility shutoffs past the current Sept. 1 deadline. Noting the state’s climbing case count, staggering unemployment and the upcoming online re-opening of schools, the mayor argued that the state of the pandemic necessitates such an extension. 

“We are still in the middle of a public health and economic crisis, and we cannot end the programs and policies established to help people weather this storm,” wrote Rhodes-Conway. “Losing utility service only compounds the difficulties of an incredibly challenging time, and further marginalizes people who are already struggling to make ends meet.” 

At press time, the Public Services Commission has not commented on the Mayor’s letter. 

The PSC began their stay of utility disconnections back in March in reaction to the declaration of COVID-19 as a public health emergency. While the commission partially lifted the moratorium in early June, it later re-instated the policy and extended its deadline to Sept. 1. 

According to the PSC, its commissioners plan to meet on Aug. 20 to determine if they should extend the moratorium.