Move to extend cheap power to NY private schools

Originally published in The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. — A bill that would allow nonpublic and religious schools to tap into substantially discounted electricity already providing big savings to public schools is progressing in the Legislature.

The “Energy Parity Act” would allow the schools to draw energy from the New York Power Authority. The authority provides lower cost energy, often as incentives to businesses.

Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Buffalo says Wednesday the savings can be as much as 50 percent and allow schools to focus on education.

Republican Sen. Martin Golden says there’s no reason the nonpublic schools shouldn’t also be able to save thousands of dollars a year on energy.

The bill moving through committee is pushed by the Orthodox Union, a national Jewish organization, and a coalition of school advocates.

The legislative session ends June 20.