Assembly Passes Legislation to Extend Utility Termination Moratorium

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Diana Richardson today announced the Assembly has passed legislation that would continue and expand the existing moratorium on utility termination of services to protect New Yorkers struggling financially during the COVID-19 emergency (A.6255-A, Richardson).

“This health emergency has left many New Yorkers unemployed and caused serious financial hardship for countless families,” said Speaker Heastie. “This legislation will ensure that no one has to worry about having critical utility services terminated during this difficult time because of an inability to pay.”

“More than a year into this pandemic, many New Yorkers are still struggling to make ends meet,” said Assemblymember Richardson. “At a time when people are focused on health and safety, maintaining and expanding the existing utility-shut off moratorium is essential to helping New Yorkers avoid increased hardship and ensuring they are able to maintain their quality of life.”

Last year, the state enacted a moratorium on the termination of utility services during the COVID-19 state of emergency, which was to expire on March 31, 2021. Today’s legislation will extend that moratorium until December 31, 2021, unless the state of emergency is lifted prior, and for a period of 180 days after for those who suffered a change in financial circumstances due to the emergency. The bill would further extend the protections of the moratorium to certain small business customers with less than 25 employees, and additionally cover the termination of cable television and broadband internet services.