Deliberations continued this afternoon on the utility relief bill, which is estimated will cost more than $25 million. Several senators, in arguing that ARPA funds should be used, said the general fund may not have enough money to cover it.

Minority Leader Chris Duenas said the recently reported general fund surplus has already been gobbled up by a series of appropriation measures. He said, "We spent that whole $78 million then, Madame Chair, as far as I'm concerned, we are in a $40 million deficit For Fiscal Year '21. And nobody has put a piece of paper on our desk showing that that's not true."

"And here we go, 2022, we're in this fiscal year and we don't have audited financials," he continued. "We spent $25 million on LEAC [the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause], and boy, that $25 million number seems to be so wonderful; another $25 million from our general fund. When clearly, clearly the final rule says utilities."

Senators late this afternoon were still deliberating on a series of amendments. They have been trying to fast-track passage of the rate relief bill so it can take effect with the July Billing period.