2012 Indiana General Assembly Bill Watch List

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 00:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB1008: Wind Turbines

Authors: Rep. Chuck Moseley (R) & Rep. Steve Stemler (D)
Status: Never made it out of the House Ways & Means Committee

Digest: This bill establishes the Hoosier Heritage Innovative Industry Loan Fund. It provides that the fund is administered by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). It also transfers $1 M from the Indiana Twenty-first Century Research and Technology Fund to the fund. The bill provides that the IEDC Board may make a loan from the fund to an applicant to establish a facility in Indiana that manufactures or fabricates wind turbines using steel made in the United States. It provides that a loan from the fund is interest free and may be for an amount up to $1 M.  It also provides that the term of a loan from the fund may not exceed 20 years.

Position:  Neutral

 

HB1073: Public Transportation 
Author: Rep. Jeff Espich (R)
Status: Never made it out of the House Ways & Means Committee

Digest: Specifies that a county or city council (other than the city-county council of Marion County) may elect by ordinance to provide revenue to a public transportation corporation from the city's or the county's distributive share of county adjusted gross income taxes, county option income taxes, or county economic development income taxes. Authorizes the establishment of a regional transit authority and a metropolitan transit district by specified eligible counties through local public questions. Authorizes the metropolitan transit district to: (1) construct or acquire any public transportation facility; (2) provide public transportation service by operating public transportation facilities; and (3) issue bonds and otherwise incur indebtedness. Authorizes the Indiana finance authority to issue bonds and use the proceeds to acquire any obligations issued by a metropolitan transit district. Provides that in a county that has approved the local public question, an additional county economic development income tax (CEDIT) rate of not more than 0.2% may be imposed to pay the county's contribution to the funding of the metropolitan transit district. Specifies that the CEDIT rate may not exceed the recommended tax.

Position: Support

 

HB1082: Election of utility consumer counselor
Author:
Rep. Win Moses (D)
Status:  Never made it out of the House Utilities & Energy Committee

Digest:  Provides for the election of the utility consumer counselor beginning with the 2012 general election.

Position: Support

 

HB1083: Rate adjustment mechanisms
Author: Rep. Win Moses (D)
Status: Never made it out of the House Utilities & Energy Committee

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.

Position: Support

 

HB1084: Indiana utility regulatory commission fining authority
Author: Rep. Win Moses (D)
Status:  Never made it out of the House Utilities & Energy Committee

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.

Position: Support

 

HB1085: Environmental review of hydraulic fracturing
Author: Rep. Win Moses (D)
Status:  Never made it out of the House Natural Resources Committee

Digest:  Requires the natural resources commission to regulate hydraulic fracturing. Requires an operator that performs or intends to perform hydraulic fracturing to submit an environmental compliance plan to the department of natural resources (department) for review and approval. Requires an operator to disclose chemical constituents used in hydraulic fracturing. Requires the department to publish the information received on its web site. Requires disclosure of proprietary chemical composition in a medical emergency. Requires the department to prescribe a process for reviewing an environmental compliance plan and for disclosure of proprietary information in a medical emergency.

Position: Support

 

HB1107: Hydraulic fracturing treatments
Authors: Rep. Eric Koch (R), Rep. Matt Ubelhor (R), Rep. Kreg Battles (D)
Sponsors: Sen. Bev Gard (R), Sen. Jean Breaux (D), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)
Status:  Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Digest:  Defines "hydraulic fracturing" and "base fluid" for purposes of the law concerning oil and gas wells. Requires the natural resources commission, in regulating oil and gas wells, to adopt rules for the reporting and disclosure of hydraulic fracturing treatments.

Votes:

Position:  Support.  When it comes to hydrofracking, some regulation is better than no regulation.

 

HB1112: Telecommunications providers of last resort
Authors: Rep.Matthew Lehman (R), Rep. Heath Van Natter (R), Rep. Ed Delaney (D)
Sponsors: Sen. Brandt Hershman (R), Sen. Travis Holdman (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)
Status: Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Votes:

Digest:    Amends references to federal telecommunications law made obsolete by amendments to the federal law. Repeals the statute that requires the utility regulatory commission (IURC) to determine, under certain circumstances, a successor local telephone exchange carrier for an area in which an exiting local exchange carrier ceases operations. Makes conforming amendments. Provides that upon notice to the IURC by an incumbent local exchange carrier that is the provider of last resort in one or more parts of the incumbent local exchange carrier's service area, the incumbent local exchange carrier is relieved of its obligation as the provider of last resort in any part of the incumbent local exchange carrier's service area in which there are at least two communications service providers (one of which may be the incumbent local exchange carrier) offering voice service. Provides that after June 30, 2013, upon notice to the IURC by an incumbent local exchange carrier that is the provider of last resort in one or more parts of the incumbent local exchange carrier's service area, the incumbent local exchange carrier is relieved of its provider of last resort obligation with respect to any part of its service area identified in its notice. Specifies that relief from a provider of last resort obligation does not affect an incumbent local exchange carrier's obligations under federal law.

Position: Oppose

 

HB1125: Clean energy resources
Author: Rep. Dave Frizzell (R)
Status:  Never made it out of the House Utilities & Energy Committee

Digest: Amends the statute concerning the voluntary clean energy portfolio standard program for electricity suppliers to include more clean energy resources within the existing list of clean energy resources that may not be used to satisfy more than 30% of any of the clean portfolio standard goals set forth in the statute. Makes conforming amendments.

Position: Oppose

 

HB1126: Extraterritorial water and sewer rates
Authors: Rep. Dave Frizzell (R), Rep. Jack Lutz (R), Rep. Matt Pierce (D), Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D)
Sponsors: Sen. Jim Merritt (R), Sen. Richard Bray (R), Sen. Jim Tomes (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. John Broden (D)
Status: Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Votes:

Digest:  Provides that: (1) a municipality that operates a water, wastewater, or combined water and wastewater utility; or (2) users of the utility's works whose property is located outside the corporate boundaries of the municipality; may petition the utility regulatory commission (IURC) under certain circumstances for review and revision of the rates and charges imposed on the users. Requires the IURC to prescribe the form and content of the petition. Provides that a petition is considered approved if the IURC does not approve or disapprove the petition within 120 days. Authorizes the IURC to adopt rules.

Position: Neutral

 

HB1141: Home energy assistance
Authors: Rep. Peggy Welch (D), Rep. John Day (D), Rep. Ed Clere (R), Rep. Randy Truitt (R)
Sponsors: Sen. Luke Kenley (R), Sen. Ron Alting (R), Sen. Vi Simpson (D), Sen. John Broden (D), Sen. Jean Breaux (D), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)
Status: Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Votes:

Digest:    Establishes the connection assistance fund to pay utility deposits and connection fees charged to households eligible to acquire home energy through the low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP). Restores the sales tax exemption that expired in 2009 for home energy acquired through LIHEAP. Requires the treasurer of state to transfer money attributable to a utility deposit or refund that remains unclaimed after 25 years to the connection assistance fund. Makes appropriations.

Position: Support

 

HB1201: State provision and use of communications service
Authors: Rep. Tom Dermody (R)
Sponsors: Sen. Travis Holdman (R), Sen. Jim Merritt (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)
Status: Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Votes:

Digest:  Provides that after March 31, 2012, the state may not offer or provide, directly or indirectly, communications service to the public or to any private or governmental entity. Provides exceptions to this prohibition to allow for the following: (1) The state to provide communications service for 911 services or emergency or law enforcement purposes. (2) The state to provide communications service to institutions of higher education for the direct benefit of students, faculty, and staff. (3) The state to purchase communications service through a contract administered through the department of administration. (4) The state or a private postsecondary educational institution to purchase communications service from a provider owned or operated by, or affiliated with the state if comparable service is not available from a private provider. Provides that after March 31, 2012, a person that is not: (1) a state educational institution; or (2) a private postsecondary educational institution; may not become a member of the I-Light network or otherwise connect to or use the I-Light network or any services made available through I-Light.

Position: Oppose

 

HB1278: Net metering
Author: Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D)
Status: Never made it out of the House Utilities and Energy committee

Digest:  Requires the utility regulatory commission (IURC) to adopt emergency rules amending the IURC's net metering and interconnection rules for electric utilities to: (1) make net metering available to all customer classes; (2) allow a net metering customer to interconnect to an electric utility's distribution facility a generating system that is sized to meet all or part of the customer's electric load; (3) allow a net metering customer to interconnect a generating facility that makes use of specified technologies; and (4) allow for customer meter aggregation. Provides that a rule adopted by the IURC to amend the IURC's net metering and interconnection rules may not make the net metering and interconnection rules apply to a rural electric membership corporation or a municipally owned utility. Provides that the existing rules are void to the extent they do not comply with the requirements for the amended rules. Requires the IURC to report to the regulatory flexibility committee on the IURC's progress in adopting the amended rules. Requires the IURC to include in its annual report to the regulatory flexibility committee the following information concerning net metering: (1) For each electric utility, the number of net metering customers and the nameplate capacity of the net metering facilities used. (2) A description of any safety related incidents. (3) A description of any grid reliability incidents. (4) For each electric utility, an estimate of any subsidization of the utility's net metering program provided by nonparticipating customers. Amends the statute concerning the reports prepared for and by the regulatory flexibility committee to reflect the time frame of the general assembly's interim study committee schedule.

Position: Support

 

HB1280: Regulatory matters
Author: Rep. Eric Koch (R)
Sponsor: Sen. Brandt Hershman (R)
Status: Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Votes:

Digest:  Provides that intrastate commerce in Indiana is not subject to the authority of the United States Congress. Provides for a retrospective review of agency rules. Imposes a duty on a state agency under certain circumstances to give a person an opportunity to correct an alleged violation of law that is discovered in an inspection. Requires hearing officers and administrative law judges to be attorneys licensed to practice law in Indiana. Requires state agencies and instrumentalities to implement continuous process improvement techniques. Requires agencies to evaluate the benefits and costs of rules, seek alternatives to regulation, establish and publish a rulemaking docket, and encourage public participation in rulemaking proceedings. Requires that state documents provided to the public must be written in plain English. Requires each unit of local government that receives franchise fees paid to a unit from an entity providing video services to submit to the IURC an annual report on the unit's receipt and use of those franchise fees during the calendar year for which the report is submitted. Consolidates six categories of pharmacy licenses into three categories. Extends the provisions of the public lawsuit statute to cover all actions against a municipal corporation in which the petitioner has public standing.

Position: Opposed to the original bill, neutral to the final product

 

HB1319: Utility rate criteria
Authors: Rep. Gail Riecken (D)
Status: Never made it out of the House Utilities & Energy Committee

Digest:  Requires the Indiana utility regulatory commission (IURC) to determine and fix just, affordable, and reasonable utility rates if the IURC finds utility rates are unjust, unaffordable, or unreasonable. (Current law requires the IURC to determine and fix just and reasonable rates.)

Position: Support

 

HB1332: Property assessed clean energy
Authors: Rep. Wes Culver (R), Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D)
Status: Never made it out of the House Environmental Affairs Committee

Digest:  Authorizes the legislative body of a political subdivision to establish and administer a voluntary property assessed clean energy program to finance the installation of clean energy improvements by levying special assessments. Provides that a legislative body may authorize owner arranged financing or issue bonds in anticipation of collecting the special assessments to pay for the clean energy improvements.

Position: Support

 

SB227: Utility report of sewer rate increases
Authors: Sen. Jean Breaux (D)
Status: Never made it out of the House Utilities & Technology Committee

Digest:  Requires a sewer utility to report to the standing legislative committees with jurisdiction over utility matters if the utility seeks: (1) a single rate increase of more than 10%; or (2) rate increases of at least 2% in each of five consecutive years.

Position: Support

 

SB308: Telecommunications providers of last resort
Authors: Sen. Brandt Hershman (R), Sen. Travis Holdman (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Greg Taylor (D)
Sponsors: Rep. Matthew Lehman (R), Rep. Heath VanNatter (R), Rep. Ed DeLaney (D), Rep. Dan Stevenson (D)
Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Votes:

Digest:  Provides that upon notice to the utility regulatory commission (IURC) by an incumbent local exchange carrier that is the provider of last resort in one or more parts of the incumbent local exchange carrier's service area, the incumbent local exchange carrier is relieved of its obligation as the provider of last resort in any part of the incumbent local exchange carrier's service area in which there are at least two communications service providers (one of which may be the incumbent local exchange carrier) offering a voice service through any technology or medium. Provides that after June 30, 2013, upon notice to the IURC by an incumbent local exchange carrier that is the provider of last resort in one or more parts of the incumbent local exchange carrier's service area, the incumbent local exchange carrier is relieved of its provider of last resort obligation with respect to any part of its service area identified in its notice. Specifies that relief from a provider of last resort obligation does not affect an incumbent local exchange carrier's obligations under federal law. Specifies that for purposes of existing law that requires the IURC to determine, under certain circumstances, a successor provider for an area in which an exiting provider ceases operations, the IURC may not designate as the successor provider an incumbent local exchange carrier that has provided notice for relief from its provider of last resort obligations with respect to the area. Amends references to federal telecommunications law made obsolete by amendments to the federal law.

Position: Oppose

 

SB311: Fiscal impact review for environmental rules
Authors: Sen. Bev Gard (R), Sen. Brandt Hershman (R), Sen. Jim Buck (R), Sen. Mike Delph (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Scott Schneider (R), Sen. Jim Tomes (R)
Sponsors: Rep. Randy Truitt (R), Rep. Heath VanNatter (R)
Status: Signed into law by Gov. Daniels (R)

Votes:

Digest:  Requires the department of environmental management (department) to prepare a fiscal impact statement for each rule that has been: (1) finally adopted by certain environmental boards after June 30, 2012; and (2) fully implemented for a period of three years after the rule's final adoption. Provides that a fiscal impact statement must include certain information concerning the total economic impact that compliance with the rule has had on all persons regulated by the rule during the first three years the rule has been fully implemented. Requires the department to submit a fiscal impact statement to the budget committee not later than six months after the date on which the department determines that the rule to which the statement applies has been fully implemented for three years, unless the budget committee requires otherwise. Provides that the budget committee may prescribe: (1) the form of a fiscal impact statement; and (2) the process, deadlines, and other requirements for submitting a fiscal impact statement.

Position:  Opposed

 

SB361: State provision and use of communications service
Authors: Sen. Travis Holdman (R), Sen. Jim Merritt (R), Sen. Scott Schneider (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)
Sponsors: Rep. Tom Dermody (R)
Status: Died in the House Utilities and Energy Committee

Votes:

Digest:  Provides that after March 31, 2012, the state may not offer or provide, directly or indirectly, communications service to the public or to any private or governmental entity. Provides exceptions to this prohibition to allow for the following: (1) The state to provide communications service for 911 services or emergency or law enforcement purposes. (2)

The state to provide communications service to institutions of higher education for the direct benefit of students, faculty, and staff. (3) The state to purchase communications service through a contract administered through the Indiana department of administration. (4) The

state or a private postsecondary educational institution to purchase communications service from a provider owned or operated by, or affiliated with, the state if comparable service is not available from a private provider. Provides that after March 31, 2012, a person that is not: (1) a state educational institution; or (2) a private postsecondary educational institution; may not become a member of the I-Light network or use the I-Light network or any services made available through I-Light.

Position: Oppose

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