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New England States Protest Grid Operator’s Budget

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State attorneys general, regulators and consumer advocates in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are protesting proposed budget increases requested by New England’s electric grid operator.

In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday, the state officials say ISO-New England is not justified in seeking a $165 million budget for 2013. The states say that’s up 9 percent from last year and nearly 500 percent from its $28 million budget in 1997.

State officials say the region’s ratepayers bear the costs of running ISO and asked federal regulators to reform ISO’s budget-making to allow more state involvement.

A spokeswoman for ISO-New England, based in Holyoke, Mass., did not immediately comment.

The state officials said ISO is seeking funding for 563 workers, up from 180 in 1997.