Florida lawmakers to look into FPL settlement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The approval of a utility rate settlement opposed by the state's consumer advocate is likely to come under scrutiny by the Florida Supreme Court and Legislature.

Public Counsel J.R. Kelly said Friday that he probably will appeal the deal between Florida Power & Light Co. and groups representing industrial, health care and federal government customers.

The agreement that won approval Thursday from the Public Service Commission will raise base rates for all customers. That includes nearly $10 for the typical residential customer over a four-year span.

Kelly contends state law requires that his office be part of any such settlement, but the commission and FPL disagree.

At least two lawmakers say they expect to pursue legislation to remove any doubt that the public counsel's participation is required.

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