Finance panel to securitize electric bills, declines Keno option

The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee is expected to approve selling future revenues tied to monthly electric bills for pennies on the dollar to provide $1.3 billion to help balance next fiscal year’s budget, sources said this afternoon.

The committee, which began meeting 10 minutes ago, also will not back an alternative securitization plan, which involved the sale of lottery revenues, including a new Keno game.

Currently, portions of most consumers’ monthly bills go to reimburse the state’s two major utility companies – United Illuminating and Northeast Utilities – for costs they incurred 12 years ago as part of a sweeping industry deregulation. NU is scheduled to be fully repaid by year’s end, and UI by 2013.

As these obligations to utility companies end, most of the charges related to them could remain on consumers’ bills, and the revenue could be sold.