The high cost of heating our homes has forced 180-thousand Iowans to be late in paying gas and electric bills — with the total amount due at 34-million dollars. Utilities are prevented from cutting off the power to customers during “winter” months, which means thousands could be disconnected as soon as next week. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says that’s “unconscionable.”He says there is no way some people will be able to pay these bills by April 1st. The Iowa Utilities Board is meeting today in Des Moines to see if there’s a way to prevent utilities from cutting off the power to tens of thousands of Iowans on April first. Harkin says action must be taken by some state agency right away. Harkin says if the utilities board doesn’t act today, the legislature needs to pass an emergency measure tomorrow preventing utilities from shutting people off until June or July. Harkin says it would be “unconscionable” for utilities to cut off power to people this soon.
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