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State budget includes funding for Long Island office to regulate utilities

ALBANY -- The 2014-15 state budget deal includes funding for a new Long Island office of the state Department of Public Services, which regulates utilities.

The office will employ 39 workers with a budget of $5.5 million, the Cuomo administration said Sunday. The office was created last year in a bill addressing Cuomo's concerns about the Long Island Power Authority, a state entity.

The office will review the performance of utilities and requests for rate increases. The review will include analysis of utilities’ ability to withstand storms and to rebound after they hit.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had included a Long Island office of the Public Service Commission as part of a LIPA overhaul law after Superstorm Sandy.

The Legislature is scheduled to adopt the state budget deal Monday.

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