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SB21-103

Sunset Office Of Consumer Counsel

Concerning the continuation of the office of consumer counsel, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations contained in the 2020 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies regarding the office of consumer counsel and the utility consumers' board, and making an appropriation.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subject:
Energy
Bill Summary

Sunset Process - Senate Transportation and Energy Committee. The bill implements some of the recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies' (department) sunset review and report regarding the office of consumer counsel (office) and the utility consumers' board (board) by:

  • Continuing the office and the board for 7 years, to 2028 ( sections 1 and 2 of the bill);
  • Clarifying that, in addition to being authorized to appear before and participate in the public utilities commission's proceedings, the office is authorized to appear before and participate in other agencies' proceedings ( sections 6 and 8 );
  • Changing the name of the office to the office of the utility consumer advocate and the name of the head of the office from the consumer counsel to the director ( sections 1 and 4 to 10 );
  • Changing the board from a type 1 transfer to a type 2 transfer ( sections 4 and 10 ); and
  • Repealing requirements that the board annually review the office's performance and confer with the executive director of the department regarding hiring and performance evaluation matters ( section 4 ). ; and
  • Repealing the requirement that members of the board represent all 7 of the state's congressional districts and instead requiring that appointing authorities ensure that the board's membership reflect the greatest degree of diversity possible ( section 4 ).

The bill also:

  • Authorizes the director of the office (director) to consider statutory decarbonization goals, just transition, and environmental justice when determining whether it is in the public interest to appear in a proceeding before the public utilities commission (commission) ( section 6 );
  • Removes the cap on the number of employees that the director may employ ( section 8 );
  • Authorizes the office to intervene in matters before the commission that relate to the provision or quality of telecommunications service (section 6); and
  • Prohibits the office from recommending that the commission take action that would interfere with collective bargaining regarding a regulated industry's employee wages, health insurance, or retirement benefits (section 6).

Sections 3 and 11 to 13 make conforming amendments.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

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