RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he has "significant concerns" about utility backed legislation that would allow electric monopolies to continue charging rates that currently produce excessive yearly profits of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Northam said Thursday in response to questions from The Associated Press that he wants state regulators to have greater oversight of utilities than what the legislation would allow. The Democratic governor also said he wants Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to issue bigger refunds to their customers than what's been proposed. Both companies have kept significant overearnings because of a 2015 law.

His comments are the first time the new governor has weighed in on the legislation. Northam is also pressing the legislature to allow Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.