BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Legislature is sending a bill to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk that would hold public utility companies accountable for emergency response services and notifications during power outages.
Lawmakers in both chambers approved the legislation Tuesday, sending the bill to Patrick.
The bill would improve emergency response services in Massachusetts by requiring public utility companies to establish a well-staffed call center during major storms and coordinate with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, among other things. It would also require the companies to pay an assessment charge to help fund the state's Department of Public Utilities storm investigations.
Neither the charge nor fines for inadequate storm response would be passed on to consumers. Fines would be returned to consumers.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, called the Legislature's passage a "major victory."