Bill Text: IN SB0472 | 2019 | Regular Session | Enrolled

Bill Title: Utility matters. Provides that an order affecting rates of service may be entered by the utility regulatory commission (IURC) without a formal public hearing in the case of any public or municipally owned utility that either: (1) serves less than 8,000 customers; or (2) has initiated a rate case on behalf of a single division of the utility and that division: (A) serves less than 5,000 customers; and (B) has an IURC-approved schedule of rates and charges that is separate and independent from that of any other division of the utility. (Current law permits the IURC to enter a service rate order without a public hearing only in the case of a utility that itself serves less than 5,000 customers.) Changes the term "distressed utility" to "offered utility" for purposes of statutory provisions regarding the acquisition of water or wastewater utilities. Makes the following changes for purposes of the statutory provisions under which a utility that acquires property from another utility at a cost differential may petition the IURC to include the cost differential in the acquiring utility's rate base: (1) Provides conditions for applicability of the rebuttable presumption that the cost differential is reasonable. (2) Amends the findings the IURC must make in order to approve the petition. (3) Provides that notice of the filing of the petition may be provided to customers of the acquiring utility company in a billing insert. (4) Requires the acquiring utility company to submit with its petition to the IURC a written description of how the acquiring utility will identify and make reasonable and prudent improvements necessary to provide safe and reliable service to customers of the offered utility. Provides, for purposes of the requirement that a municipality that plans to sell or dispose of nonsurplus municipally owned utility property must appoint appraisers in a writing that is a public record, that a written contract with the appraisers or the appraisers' firms satisfies this requirement. Provides that the municipality must hold a public hearing regarding the appraisal and proposed sale not later than 180 days (rather than 90 days, under current law) after the appraisal is complete. Amends the factors the IURC must consider in deciding whether the sale or disposition is in the public interest. Provides that if, within a county containing a consolidated city: (1) a main sewer line is extended for the purpose of connecting one or more residential or commercial properties to a sanitary sewer system; and (2) the extension, when completed, will be located within a certain distance of the property line of a residential property served by a septic system; the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (corporation) or its board may not order that the residential property served by a septic system be connected to the extension. Provides, however, that the connection of a residential property served by a septic system to such an extension may be ordered if: (1) the state department of health; or (2) the corporation or its board; determines that the septic system serving the residential property is failing. Specifies that these provisions do not affect a septic tank elimination program approved by the IURC. Urges the legislative council to assign to an appropriate interim study committee the task of studying, on a statewide basis, the connection of unserved properties to sanitary sewer systems owned or operated by various public and private entities.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 11-2)

Status: (Passed) 2019-05-05 - Public Law 229 [SB0472 Detail]

Download: Indiana-2019-SB0472-Enrolled.pdf
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