Negotiators reach deal on excess power program earnings

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement for use of any excess earnings from a fund set up to help rural areas faced with high electricity costs.

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Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, during a Senate Finance Committee meeting, March 29, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray, 360 North)
Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, during a Senate Finance Committee meeting, March 29, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray, 360 North)

A conference committee Thursday agreed to legislation that would allow for 70 percent of excess earnings from the Power Cost Equalization endowment fund to be put to other uses. Of that percentage, any amount up to $30 million would go toward a community assistance program, funding that could be key to that program. Up to $25 million beyond that would go for renewable energy and bulk fuel programs and rural power system upgrades.

Sen. Lyman Hoffman says the remaining 30 percent of any excess earnings would revert to the endowment.

The compromise legislation is subject to approval by the House and Senate.