2013 Indiana General Assembly Bill Watch List (continued)

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 16:33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More bills CAC supported or opposed in the 2013 Indiana General Assembly:

 

Take Action - contact your legislators about these bills!

 

Good Bills:

 

HB1202: Lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus (companion to SB546)

Authors: Rep. Sue Errington (D), Rep. Christina Hale (D), Rep. Thomas Saunders (R)

Status: Died in the House Natural Resources Committee

SB546: Consumer information concerning phosphorus (companion to HB1202)

Author: Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports these bills

Digest: Requires distributors, retailers, and persons engaged in lawn care service who sell or offer for sale a fertilizer containing phosphorus for use on a lawn to make available certain information to the customer. Requires a person who is engaged in lawn care service to offer each customer a fertilizer product that does not contain phosphorus for use on the customer's lawn.

 

HB1209: Environmental review of hydraulic fracturing

Author: Rep. Matt Pierce (D)

Status: Died in the House Natural Resources Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Requires an owner or operator of a well for oil and gas purposes to submit an environmental compliance plan (plan) to the department of natural resources (department) for review and approval of the plan before performing hydraulic fracturing. Requires that the plan contain certain information, including the chemical constituents to be used in the hydraulic fracturing, a description of the geology of the area where the well is located, and a pollution risk analysis. Provides that proprietary or trade secret information need not be disclosed in the plan, but that the department may require disclosure of the proprietary or trade secret information in case of a medical emergency. Requires the department to publish approved plans on its web site. Requires the department to prescribe processes for approving plans and for the disclosure of proprietary information in a medical emergency.

 

HB1210: IURC Fining Authority

Author: Rep. Matt Pierce (D)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Allows the Indiana utility regulatory commission (IURC) to impose a civil penalty of up to $5,000 on a public utility providing energy services that violates or fails to comply with any: (1) utility law; or (2) rate or service requirement imposed by the IURC. Allows the IURC to impose an additional penalty of up to $10,000 if the violation or failure to comply demonstrates a willful disregard by the public utility of the public utility's duty to remedy the violation or a willful failure to comply. Specifies that a suit to recover or collect a forfeiture or penalty imposed by the IURC must be brought by the IURC or, at the IURC's option, by the attorney general. Provides that if the IURC acts independently of the attorney general to recover or collect a forfeiture or penalty, the IURC may, subject to the approval of the governor and the budget agency, contract with outside counsel to prosecute the suit or assist the IURC in prosecuting the suit.

 

HB1211: Rate adjustment mechanisms

Author: Rep. Matt Pierce (D)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Provides that not later than two years after the effective date of an order of the utility regulatory commission (IURC) approving a rate adjustment mechanism for an energy utility, the IURC shall review, and revise as necessary, the utility's basic rates and charges. Requires the IURC to use the procedures governing a general rate case in conducting the review.

 

HB1407: Utility company mergers

Author: Rep. Gail Riecken (D)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Requires the approval of the utility regulatory commission before a public utility may sell stock, enter into certain contracts, effect a reorganization, or acquire control of another public utility.

 

HB1408: Elect utility regulatory commission members

Author: Rep. Gail Riecken (D)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Provides for the election of the members of the utility regulatory commission on a nonpartisan basis beginning with the 2014 general election. Increases the number of commissioners from five to nine, and provides for the election of one commissioner from election districts that correspond to Indiana's congressional districts. Provides for voluntary public financing of campaigns for the office of member of the commission funded from the public utility fund. Appropriates sufficient money in the public utility fund to fund campaigns.

 

HB1490: Residential energy conservation program

Authors: Rep. Dan Forestal (D), Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R), Rep. Alan Morrison (R), Rep. Karlee Macer (D)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Requires the office of the lieutenant governor to establish and administer the residential energy conservation program under which residential utility customers may obtain vendor financing for energy conservation measures.

 

HB1514: Insurance for Environmental Claims

Author: Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D)

Status: Died in the House Environmental Affairs committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Specifies circumstances of coverage under an insurance policy that provides coverage for an environmental claim.

 

SB113: Local Air Pollution Control Agency Contracts

Author: Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Requires the commissioner of the department of environmental management to enter into a contract with a local air pollution control agency whenever the local air pollution control agency is willing to enter into a contract. Provides that, under such a contract, the local air pollution control agency is to carry out certain air pollution control programs within its jurisdiction. Specifies certain provisions that must be in a contract.

 

SB386: Environmental Crimes

Author: Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a regulated person to knowingly violate certain air pollution control rules or to fail to keep or maintain certain records required by the federal Clean Air Act. Makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a regulated person to knowingly violate certain water pollution control rules or to negligently violate certain water pollution control permit conditions or permit filing requirements.

 

SB480: Substitute natural gas

Author: Sen. Greg Taylor (D)

Status: Died in the Sentate Utilities Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Digest: Repeals IC 4-4-11.6 concerning substitute natural gas contracts. Makes conforming amendments.

 

SJR22: IURC and consumer counselor appointments

Author: Sen. Jean Breaux (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Utilities Committees

Position: CAC supports this resolution

Digest: Provides that the appointment of an individual by the governor to fill an office or employment in the executive branch relating to the regulation of public utilities is subject to rejection by a majority of the members elected to the Indiana senate. This proposed amendment has not been previously agreed to by a general assembly.

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Bad Bills:

 

SB204: Sewer Connections

Authors: Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Susan Glick (R), Sen. Dennis Kruse (R)

Sponsors: Rep. David Wolkins (R), Rep. Randy Frye (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Pence

Votes:

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Digest: Provides that a not-for-profit public sewer utility or a regional sewage district may require connection to its sewage disposal system if there is an available sanitary sewer line within 300 feet of : (1) the property line, if the property line is located in a consolidated city or adjacent to a body of water; or (2) for all other properties, the source of the sewage discharge. (Current law requires connection if there is an available line within 300 feet of the property line.)

 

SB390: Nuclear energy facilities

Author: Sen. Phil Boots (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Utilities Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Digest: Provides that projects involving the construction of nuclear energy production or generating facilities qualify for the financial incentives available for clean energy projects. (Current law provides that only projects involving the life cycle management of such facilities qualify for the incentives.) For purposes of the statute governing the incentives, amends the definition of: (1) "nuclear energy production or generating facility" to include a facility constructed in Indiana after June 30, 2013; and (2) "qualified utility system expenses" to specify that the term includes preconstruction costs and applies to a new energy production or generating facility or a new nuclear energy production or generating facility. Requires the state utility forecasting group to include nuclear power in its annual study on clean energy resources.

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Neutral - Bills CAC is watching:

 

HB1031: Refusal of smart meter installation

Author: Rep. Tim Neese (R)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: Neutral

Digest: Requires an energy utility, as a condition of installing a smart meter on a customer's premises, to offer the customer an opportunity to refuse the installation.

 

HB1035: Nonjurisdictional municipal utilities

Author: Rep. Dale DeVon (R)

Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Position: Neutral

Digest: Legalizes and validates the removal from the jurisdiction of the utility regulatory commission (IURC) of an electric utility owned and operated by a second class city that, before January 1, 2013, followed certain statutory procedures to remove the electric utility from IURC jurisdiction.

 

HB1137: IURC review of extraterritorial water rates

Authors: Rep. Dave Frizzell (R), Rep. John Price (R), Rep. Kreg Battles (D), Rep. Matt Pierce (D)

Sponsors: Sen. Jim Merritt (R), Sen. Jean Breaux (D)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Pence

Votes:

Position: Neutral

Digest: Requires that petitions for review by the utility regulatory commission (IURC) of extraterritorial water rates must be signed by each individual seeking review or by an attorney representing the individuals. Provides that the IURC may extend the deadline for approving or disapproving a petition for up to 60 days for good cause or upon agreement of all parties to the petition. (Current law provides that a petition is dismissed if the IURC fails to act by the deadline.)

 

HB1374: Customer-generator facilities

Authors: Rep. Eric Koch (R), Rep. David Frizzell (R), Rep. Christina Hale (D), Rep. Matt Pierce (D)

Sponsors: Sen. Brandt Hershman (R), Sen. Jim Merritt (R), Sen. Tim Skinner (D)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Pence

Votes:

Position: Neutral

Digest: Provides that a customer-generator facility that owns only definite situs property that is located in one taxing district is not subject to assessment as a public utility and shall be locally assessed. Requires the utility regulatory commission to amend the rules governing interconnection to allocate: (1) interconnection costs to a customer-generator facility; and (2) distribution system improvement costs related to interconnection to an investor-owned utility.

 

SB349: Municipal utility funds and economic development

Authors: Sen. Randy Head (R), Sen. Jim Merritt (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. John Broden (D)

Sponsor: Rep. Bill Friend (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Pence

Votes:

Position: Neutral

Digest: Adds to the chapter in the Indiana Code concerning donations by local units of government a provision authorizing a municipal legislative body, with the approval of the board of the municipality's municipally owned utility, to donate funds from the municipally owned utility's surplus earnings to a local economic development organization, as long as certain obligations of the municipally owned utility are met before the donation is made.

 

SB365: Utility facility relocation

Authors: Sen. Michael Crider (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Sponsors: Rep. Eric Koch (R), Rep. Dale DeVon (R), Rep. Bob Cherry (R), Rep. Kreg Battles (D), Rep. David Niezgodski (D)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Pence

Votes:

Position: Neutral

Digest: Authorizes a unit of local government to enter into an agreement with a utility concerning the relocation of the utility's facilities for a major project undertaken by the local unit. Requires that the agreement must include a date for relocation and a force majeure clause. Requires a utility to provide a unit contact information for the utility's authorized representative. Specifies that a unit that is responsible for relocation costs may pay the costs in arrears in accordance with the procedures of the state board of accounts.

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