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SB19-236

Sunset Public Utilities Commission

Concerning the continuation of the public utilities commission, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations contained in the 2018 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies.
Session:
2019 Regular Session
Subject:
Energy
Bill Summary

Sunset Process - Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. The bill implements the recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies' sunset review and report on the public utilities commission (commission) by:

  • Authorizing the commission to promulgate rules to delegate routine, administrative transportation matters to staff and clarifying that the commission provides initial review of each case submitted for adjudication and determines whether it wishes to retain the case or to assign it to an administrative law judge or to an individual commissioner ( section 14 of the bill);
  • Providing for alternate forms of communication that a public utility may utilize to notify its customers of rate changes, including text message and e-mail, and requiring the public utility to post notice of the rate change on its public website ( section 11 );
  • Transferring the administration of the legal services offset fund from the department of law to the department of regulatory agencies ( section 15 );
  • Making technical changes regarding criminal history record checks and telecommunications ( sections 17 and 19 through 22 );
  • Repealing a requirement that an electric utility, as part of the electric utility's plan for acquisition of renewable resources, purchase a certain amount of energy from community solar gardens in the years 2011 through 2013, but delaying the repeal until 2043 to keep the legislation in place until contracts entered into pursuant to the requirement have likely all expired ( section 9 );
  • Repealing the requirement that the commission, in considering electric utilities' proposals for generation acquisition, give consideration to proposals to propose, fund, and construct integrated gasification combined cycle generation facilities ( section 8 ); and
  • Clarifying that the commission may impose a civil penalty for a violation of railroad crossing safety regulations ( section 13 ).

The bill also:

  • Creates the division of public utilities (division) as if it were transferred by a type 2 transfer, as a separate entity from the commission ( sections 3 to 7 );
  • Directs the commission to promulgate rules to require an investor-owned utility to file with the commission, for the commission's approval, a distribution system plan regarding the utility's anticipated distribution system investments ( section 10 );
  • Requires an investor-owned utility, when submitting a filing to the commission that includes a proposed retirement of an electric generating facility, to include in the filing a workforce transition plan that provides estimates of workforce transitions that will occur as a result of retiring the electric generating facility ( section 10 );
  • Directs the commission to evaluate the cost of carbon dioxide emissions in any proceeding related to a public utility subject to the commission's jurisdiction and to promulgate rules to require those public utilities, when submitting filings related to planning processes, including electric resource plans, to include the cost of carbon dioxide emissions related to the activities proposed in the plan ( section 12 ); and
  • Authorizes the commission to regulate vehicle booting companies, which are private entities in the business of immobilizing motor vehicles through use of a boot, through issuance of permits and enforcement mechanisms including inspections, imposition of a civil penalty, and revocation of a permit ( sections 16 and 18 ).

The bill continues the functions of the commission for and gives the division a life of 7 years, until 2026 ( sections 1 and 2 ).
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Sponsors

Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Sen. S. Fenberg, Sen. L. Garcia

Sponsor

Sen. M. Foote, Sen. F. Winter

Co-sponsor

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