Bill Text: NY A10521 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Relates to issuing a moratorium on utility termination of services during periods of pandemics and/or state of emergencies.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 27-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-05-27 - substituted by s8113a [A10521 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A10521-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          10521

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                      May 24, 2020
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Mosley) --
          read once and referred to the Committee on  Corporations,  Authorities
          and Commissions

        AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to issuing a morato-
          rium  on  utility  termination of services during periods of pandemics
          and/or state of emergencies

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Subdivision 6 of section 32 of the public service law, as
     2  added by chapter 686 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
     3    6. No utility corporation or municipality shall terminate  or  discon-
     4  nect  services  to  any  residential  customer for the non-payment of an
     5  overdue charge for the duration of the state disaster emergency declared
     6  pursuant to executive order two  hundred  two  of  two  thousand  twenty
     7  (herein after "the COVID-19 state of emergency").
     8    Utility  corporations  and municipalities shall have a duty to restore
     9  service, to the extent not already required under this chapter,  to  any
    10  residential  customer  within forty-eight hours if such service has been
    11  terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    12    7. For a period of one hundred eighty days after the COVID-19 state of
    13  emergency is lifted or expires, no utility corporation  or  municipality
    14  shall  terminate  or  disconnect  the  service of a residential customer
    15  because of defaulted deferred payment agreements or arrears owed to  the
    16  utility corporation or municipality when such customer has experienced a
    17  change  in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergen-
    18  cy, as defined by the department.   The utility corporation  or  munici-
    19  pality  shall  provide such residential customer with the right to enter
    20  into, or restructure, a deferred payment agreement without the  require-
    21  ment of a down payment, late fees, or penalties, as such is provided for
    22  in this article.
    23    8.  Every  utility corporation or municipality shall provide notice to
    24  residential customers, in a writing to be included with a bill statement
    25  or, when appropriate, via electronic transmission the provisions of this
    26  section and shall further make reasonable efforts to contract  customers

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD15908-06-0

        A. 10521                            2

     1  who  have  demonstrated  a  change  in financial circumstance due to the
     2  COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offering such customers a
     3  deferred payment agreement consistent with the provisions of this  arti-
     4  cle.
     5    9. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit
     6  a  utility  or  municipality  from  recovering lost or deferred revenues
     7  after the lifting or expiration of  the  COVID-19  state  of  emergency,
     8  pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this chapter,
     9  and  by  means not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this arti-
    10  cle.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit a  utility  corporation  or
    11  municipality  from disconnecting service necessary to protect the health
    12  and safety of customers and the public.
    13    10. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall  not  limit
    14  the  contractual  remedies  for  damages which might be available to the
    15  terminating utility provided that an award of such damages is not incon-
    16  sistent with any of the provisions of this article.
    17    § 2. Section 89-b of the public service law is amended by adding  four
    18  new subdivisions 8, 9, 10 and 11 to read as follows:
    19    8. No water-works corporation shall terminate or disconnect the supply
    20  of  water  to  residential  accounts for the non-payment of water rents,
    21  rates or charges for  the  duration  of  the  state  disaster  emergency
    22  declared  pursuant  to  executive  order two hundred two of two thousand
    23  twenty (hereinafter "the COVID-19 state  of  emergency").    Water-works
    24  corporations  shall  have  a  duty to restore service, to the extent not
    25  already required under this chapter, to any residential customer  within
    26  forty-eight hours if such service has been terminated during the penden-
    27  cy of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    28    9. For a period of one hundred eighty days after the COVID-19 state of
    29  emergency  is lifted or expires, no water-works corporation shall termi-
    30  nate or disconnect the service of a residential customer account because
    31  of defaulted deferred payment agreements or arrears owed to  the  water-
    32  works  corporation when such customer has experienced a change in finan-
    33  cial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, as defined by
    34  the department. The water-works corporation shall provide such  residen-
    35  tial  customer  with the right to enter into, or restructure, a deferred
    36  payment agreement without the requirement of a down payment, late  fees,
    37  or penalties, as such is provided for in article two of this chapter.
    38    10.  Every water-works corporation shall provide notice to residential
    39  customers, in a writing to be included with a bill  statement  or,  when
    40  appropriate, via electronic transmission, the provisions of this section
    41  and  shall further make reasonable efforts to contact customers who have
    42  demonstrated a change in financial circumstances  due  to  the  COVID-19
    43  state of emergency for the purpose of offering such customers a deferred
    44  payment agreement consistent with the provisions of this article.
    45    11. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohib-
    46  it  a  water-works corporation from recovering lost or deferred revenues
    47  after the lifting or expiration of  the  COVID-19  state  of  emergency,
    48  pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this chapter,
    49  and  by  means not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this arti-
    50  cle.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit a  water-works  corporation
    51  from  disconnecting  service  when it is necessary to protect the health
    52  and safety of customers and the public.
    53    § 3. Section 91 of the public service law is amended  by  adding  four
    54  new subdivisions 9, 10, 11 and 12 to read as follows:
    55    9.  No  telephone corporation shall terminate or disconnect a residen-
    56  tial service customer for the non-payment of an overdue charge  for  the

        A. 10521                            3

     1  duration  of the state disaster emergency declared pursuant to executive
     2  order two hundred two of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the  COVID-19
     3  state  of  emergency").  Telephone  corporations  shall  have  a duty to
     4  restore  service, to the extent not already required under this chapter,
     5  to any residential customer within forty-eight hours if such service has
     6  been terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
     7    10. After the COVID-19 state of emergency is  lifted  or  expires,  no
     8  telephone  corporation  shall  terminate  or disconnect the service of a
     9  residential customer  account  because  of  defaulted  deferred  payment
    10  agreements  or  arrears  owed  to  the  telephone  corporation when such
    11  customer has experienced a change in financial circumstances due to  the
    12  COVID-19  state  of  emergency, as defined by the department.  The tele-
    13  phone corporation shall provide such residential customer with the right
    14  to enter into, or restructure, a deferred payment agreement without  the
    15  requirement  of  a  down  payment,  late  fees, or penalties, as such is
    16  provided for in article two of this chapter.
    17    11. Every telephone corporation shall provide  notice  to  residential
    18  customers  in  a  writing  to be included with a bill statement or, when
    19  appropriate, via electronic transmission the provisions of this  section
    20  and  shall further make reasonable efforts to contact customers who have
    21  demonstrated a change in financial circumstances  due  to  the  COVID-19
    22  state of emergency for the purpose of offering such customers a deferred
    23  payment agreement consistent with the provisions of this article.
    24    12. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohib-
    25  it  a  telephone  corporation  from recovering lost or deferred revenues
    26  after the lifting or expiration of  the  COVID-19  state  of  emergency,
    27  pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this chapter,
    28  and  by  means not inconsistent with any of the provisions of this arti-
    29  cle. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a telephone corporation from
    30  disconnecting service when it is necessary to  protect  the  health  and
    31  safety of customers and the public.
    32    §  4. Section 89-l of the public service law is amended by adding four
    33  new subdivisions 3, 4, 5 and 6 to read as follows:
    34    3. No municipality shall terminate or discontinue residential  service
    35  for  the  nonpayment  of  bills,  taxes, or fees for the duration of the
    36  state disaster  emergency  declared  pursuant  to  executive  order  two
    37  hundred  two  of two thousand twenty (hereinafter the "COVID-19 state of
    38  emergency"). Every municipality shall have a duty to restore service  to
    39  any  residential customer within forty-eight hours of the effective date
    40  of this subdivision if such  service  has  been  terminated  during  the
    41  pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    42    4. For a period of one hundred eighty days after the COVID-19 state of
    43  emergency  is  lifted  or  expires,  no  municipality shall terminate or
    44  discontinue the service of a  residential  customer    because  of  bill
    45  arrears,  taxes, or fees owed to the municipality when such customer has
    46  experienced a change in financial  circumstances  due  to  the  COVID-19
    47  state of emergency, as defined by the department. The municipality shall
    48  provide  a residential service customer that has experienced a change in
    49  financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency with  the
    50  right  to enter into, or restructure, a deferred payment agreement with-
    51  out the requirement of a down payment, late fees, or penalties, as  such
    52  is provided for in article two of this chapter.
    53    5. Every municipality shall provide notice to residential customers in
    54  a writing to be included with a bill statement or, when appropriate, via
    55  electronic transmission the provisions of this section and shall further
    56  make  reasonable  efforts  to  contact customers who have demonstrated a

        A. 10521                            4

     1  change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency
     2  for the purpose of offering such customers a deferred payment  agreement
     3  consistent with the provisions of this article.
     4    6. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit
     5  a municipality from recovering lost or deferred revenues after the lift-
     6  ing  or  expiry  of  the COVID-19 state of emergency, provided that such
     7  means are not inconsistent with the provisions of this article.  Nothing
     8  in this section shall prohibit a municipality from disconnecting service
     9  when it is necessary to protect the health and safety of  customers  and
    10  the public.
    11    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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