Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley today proposed a new rule which will give victims of domestic violence a financial means to escape dangerous homes. The rule, which is modeled after similar measures in Louisiana and Texas, requires Mississippi utilities to waive initial deposits for customers who have been determined to be a victim of domestic violence by a domestic violence program, treating medical personnel, law enforcement, the office of a District Attorney, or the office of the Attorney General. The goal of the proposal is to eliminate some of the financial burdens that may dissuade victims from fleeing to a new, safer home.
“We know that many times domestic violence victims simply don’t have the money to leave a dangerous situation and start over. It’s my hope this new rule will help,” Presley said. “This is a common sense measure that will be real help for victims of domestic violence in Mississippi.”
The Commission unanimously voted to open a docket on Presley’s proposal. All interested persons are invited to submit testimony or comments to the Commission within sixty days of notice. The submissions and comments will be available for viewing by the public on the Commission’s website. After the end of the comment period, the Commission will submit a final rule. “I thank my fellow Commissioners for joining me in this effort today. There are a few steps under the law we must take before it becomes effective, but I hope we will have it in place quickly,” Presley concluded.