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Monroe County lawmakers again reject proposal to study feasibility of replacing RG&E

The Monroe County Office Building.
File photo
The Monroe County Office Building.

For the second time, Monroe County legislators have voted down a proposal to study replacing Rochester Gas and Electric with a public utility.

The entire 13-member Republican caucus voted against the measure Tuesday night, as did three Democrats.

One of the Democrats who voted against the study proposal was Legislature President Yversha Roman, but she said she voted ‘no’ to leave open the possibility of using a procedural move to bring it back for the the Legislature to reconsider during the current term.

Roman said she hopes to work with county and city lawmakers to address “the pressing concerns the community continues to highlight” in support of the study.

The legislation would have authorized the county to spend $1 million on the study and to partner with the city of Rochester on the effort.

The city committed to provide $500,000 for the study, but that’s contingent on county participation.

During a public forum prior to the vote, dozens of speakers urged the legislators to pass the measure. Others, including labor unions representing RG&E workers, urged them to vote it down.

After the legislature rejected the study funding, Mohini Sharma, Organizing Director for Metro Justice, which has helped lead the effort to replace RG&E with a public utility, issued a statement blasting the decision by the legislature on Tuesday, but said that “several paths remain open” in their campaign.

Sharma said those include: introducing an updated proposal to the County Legislature, pursuing state legislation for a countywide study, or pursuing a feasibility study led by the city of Rochester.


Jeremy Moule is a deputy editor with WXXI News. He also covers Monroe County.
Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.