An Assembly committee has approved a hotly debated bill related to electric vehicle charging infrastructure that opponents say would limit the role of local government in transportation innovation.

The Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities recently passed the legislation during an executive session after adding several amendments. In its amended form, the bill would prohibit cities, villages, towns, counties and school districts from owning, operating, managing or leasing a charging facility.

The bill, designated as AB 588/SB 573, creates an exception to the state’s definition of a public utility specifying that owners and operators of these facilities should not be regulated as such as long as certain criteria are met, related to how fees are assessed and other factors.

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