Derek Slap


Derek Slap



March 22, 2024
Senator Derek Slap
Bill to Strengthen MDC Consumer Advocate Position Advances 

The bill helps consumers and businesses save money and resolve issues with the Metropolitan District 

Today, State Senator Derek Slap, and State Representatives Tammy Exum and Kate Farrar celebrated the committee passage of Senate Bill 336 – An Act Concerning the Metropolitan District of Hartford County’s Independent Consumer Advocate.

The position of the Independent Consumer Advocate was established in 2017 by then Representative Derek Slap and Senator Beth Bye, however funding for the position has not been increased since. Funding levels are currently inadequate to support the position. The advocate is paid hourly and this proposal calls for raising the cap on billable hours so the advocate can better represent consumers.

Second, under current law the MDC must approve any request for additional hours for the advocate. The bill transfers that authority to the Office of Consumer Counsel to better establish independence of the position and improve accountability.

“Since its inception the advocate has helped families and businesses save hundreds of thousands of dollars and these changes will ensure their voice is well represented when dealing with the MDC,” said State Sen. Derek Slap. “This bill calls for a small but meaningful investment in the position and untethering control of its funding from the MDC, thus enhancing its independence. These are simple, common-sense reforms that will save consumers money and time.”

“From flooded basements to billing issues, MDC ratepayers have concerns that need to be addressed and the Independent Consumer Advocate must remain a reliable resource for all families,” said State Rep. Tammy Exum. “I am glad the Planning and Development Committee recognized the importance of SB 336, which will critically strengthen the Independent Consumer Advocate and ensure MDC ratepayers’ interests remain the top priority.”

“The MDC Independent Consumer Advocate is an essential and valuable voice for our local ratepayers,” said State Rep. Kate Farrar. “This bill is crucial to provide the financial support needed for the Consumer Advocate to not only support our MDC consumers but improve oversight and accountability.”

“The Independent Consumer Advocates have become an important intermediary between MDC and the customer. They are tasked with monitoring, informing and educating the public about MDC’s actions, and all local residents benefit from their tireless work. It is of the upmost importance that we attract a strong candidate to hold this position, but the cap on salary has unfortunately become a deterrent to prospective hires.  I am proud to cosponsor a bill that would help ensure that these advocates are fairly compensated for their impactful work,” said State Rep. Bobby Gibson.

This legislation will now move to the Senate floor.

Contact: Garnet McLaughlin
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