U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., sent a letter to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry requesting he extend Jacksonville Electric Authority’s (JEA) July 7 service disconnection moratorium.
A reported 22,000 electrical accounts, including 974 business accounts, are scheduled to be disconnected by the JEA.
Floridians have been hit especially hard by the ongoing health and economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving millions out of work and businesses closed.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any other that we have ever seen, and families and businesses must be able to rely on consistent access to power,” Lawson said on Tuesday. “Running water, electricity, and heat are essential to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Allowing this moratorium to expire would have a detrimental impact on the community.
“With Florida’s unemployment rate at 12.9 percent, up from 2.8 percent since January, too many Floridians are still unable to access unemployment benefits. This includes the additional $600 per week provided by the CARES Act. It would be unfair to lift this moratorium on disconnections and leave thousands in the dark,” Lawson added.