The costs of many prison phone calls are set to drop over the next couple of years.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission agreed Wednesday to a revamped proposal that will shrink the price tag for prisoners to call home, after complaints that current rates were too high and burdensome on poor families.
The PSC unanimously agreed to cut the rates charged for prison calls by about 25 percent when a prisoner is calling family, legal counsel, clergy or certain government agencies like schools. All surcharges will be removed.
The state's public utilities commission has decided to conduct an investigative hearing on the power outages that plagued Louisiana for days after Hurricane Isaac lashed the state with wind-driven rains.
Commissioner Eric Skrmetta said Wednesday it was the duty of the Public Service Commission to ask hard questions of the utility companies after more than 900,000 residents were left without electricity.
He said the utility companies performed well at restoring power to consumers once the storm had abated but he had questions about their pre-storm response.
The pool of candidates seeking an open seat on the state's utility regulatory agency, the Public Service Commission, has gotten smaller.
Republican candidate Ed Roy, a private investigator and former TV and radio weatherman from Lafayette, said Friday that he has withdrawn from the race. He said he dropped out of the contest because of difficulties raising enough money to run a competitive campaign.
Five other candidates remain in the race for the south central Louisiana seat left open by retiring commissioner Jimmy Field.
A federal appeals court has rejected an effort by Louisiana utility regulators to make Entergy Corp. subsidiaries in Arkansas and Mississippi pay for ending an agreement with their Entergy counterparts in Louisiana and Texas.
The ruling Tuesday by an appeals court in Washington deals with an agreement requiring the separate Entergy utilities to offer roughly equal electricity rates. At times, this has resulted in Entergy Arkansas making payments to Entergy affiliates with higher production costs — causing Arkansas customers to pay more.