State Senate passes bill to protect jobs at Indian Point

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The state Senate passed legislation Thursday that would provide Indian Point workers with job security when the power plant closes.

The plant is closing in less than two years and will have major economic implications for the region, including the loss of more than 1,000 jobs.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Pete Harckham. The bill states that Holtec International, the group that plans to buy the Buchanan-based power plant and dismantle it, must first hire workers already employed at Indian Point before looking elsewhere.

Entergy announced the sale of the plant to New Jersey-based Holtec in April. Part of the sale agreement states that Holtec must hire some of the current staff, but it doesn't specify how many workers.

Holtec officials have yet to attend public meetings to answer questions from local officials about their plans.

The closure of the decades-old plant will leave a huge hole in funding for local municipalities and the school districts that depend on payments from Entergy.

Sen. Harckham says he is aggressively working to help with the problems the closure is causing.

"We want to give people some piece of mind," says Harckham. "This is people's livelihoods. They have their lives, their homes, and their mortgages. We want to give people some predictability, so it's important that we get this done now."

“It is not clear to us that this legislation is necessary, and further there is a concern that the proposed law could delay the completion of decommissioning at Indian Point," said Jerry Nappi, Entergy spokesperson. "Holtec has already agreed to hire many Entergy employees at Indian Point to perform decommissioning, and has committed to honoring existing collective bargaining agreements.  Indian Point employees are well-compensated, with typical salaries greater than $100,000 annually.”

The bill has already been introduced in the Assembly.

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