Bill Text: NY S01087 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enacts the "Long Island power authority ratepayers protection act"; requires a public hearing in each county within the service area before approval of a final rate plan.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-06 - REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS [S01087 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S01087-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          1087

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by Sen. GAUGHRAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on  Energy  and  Telecommuni-
          cations

        AN  ACT  to amend the public authorities law and the public service law,
          in relation to enacting the "Long Island  power  authority  ratepayers
          protection act"

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

     1    Section 1. Short title. This act may be  cited  as  the  "Long  Island
     2  power authority ratepayers protection act".
     3    §  2.  Section  1020-d  of  the  public authorities law, as amended by
     4  section 4 of part A of chapter 173 of the laws of 2013,  is  amended  to
     5  read as follows:
     6    §  1020-d.  Board of trustees. 1. Starting on January first, two thou-
     7  sand fourteen, the board of  the  authority  shall  be  constituted  and
     8  consist  of  nine trustees all of whom shall be residents of the service
     9  area, five of whom shall be appointed by the governor, one of  whom  the
    10  governor shall designate as chair, and serve at his or her pleasure, two
    11  of whom shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate, and
    12  two  of  whom  shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly. One of
    13  the governor's appointees shall serve an initial term of two years;  one
    14  of the governor's appointees shall serve an initial term of three years;
    15  and  three  of  the governor's appointees shall serve an initial term of
    16  four years. One of the appointees of  the  temporary  president  of  the
    17  senate  and  one  of the appointees of the speaker of the assembly shall
    18  serve initial terms of two years; and one  appointee  of  the  temporary
    19  president of the senate and one appointee of the speaker of the assembly
    20  shall serve initial terms of three years. Thereafter, all terms shall be
    21  for  a  period of four years. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the
    22  office of trustee by death, resignation  or  otherwise,  the  respective

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03869-01-1

        S. 1087                             2

     1  appointing  officer  shall appoint a successor who shall hold office for
     2  the unexpired portion of the term.
     3    1-a.  (a)  Beginning  January  first,  two  thousand twenty-four, such
     4  authority shall consist of nine trustees. One trustee, who shall be  the
     5  chairperson, shall be a resident of the service area, shall be appointed
     6  by  the  governor subject to confirmation by the senate, and shall serve
     7  at the  governor's  pleasure.  Eight  trustees  shall  be  elected  from
     8  districts  established by the legislature. Each elected trustee shall be
     9  a resident of the district from which he or she is  elected.  No  person
    10  who is an elected or appointed official of the state or any municipality
    11  or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be qualified to serve as
    12  an  elected trustee. Each elected trustee shall hold office until his or
    13  her successor has been elected and qualified. In the event of a  vacancy
    14  occurring in the office of a trustee by death, resignation or otherwise,
    15  a successor shall be chosen to hold office for the unexpired term in the
    16  manner prescribed by the election law.
    17    (b)  Prior  to  May  first, two thousand twenty-three, the legislature
    18  shall establish eight districts, which shall be equal in  population  as
    19  determined by the last federal decennial census. Prior to May first, two
    20  thousand  twenty-seven  and  each tenth year thereafter, the legislature
    21  shall reapportion the eight districts, which shall  be  equal  in  popu-
    22  lation as determined by the last federal decennial census.
    23    (c)  Such  trustees,  shall  be  elected in elections conducted by the
    24  boards of elections pursuant to applicable provisions  of  the  election
    25  law.  The  first  such  election  shall  be held on the first Tuesday in
    26  December two thousand twenty-three, and the trustees  so  elected  shall
    27  take office on January first, two thousand twenty-four. At such election
    28  all  eight  trustees shall be elected for a term of two years. Each such
    29  term ending on December thirty-first of the last year thereof. No  poli-
    30  tical  party  shall be entitled to nominate candidates for the office of
    31  trustee at any such election.
    32    (d) Five trustees shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of  organ-
    33  izing  the  authority and conducting the business thereof. The vote of a
    34  majority of the trustees shall be required for  the  purpose  of  taking
    35  action.
    36    2.  No  trustee  shall receive a salary, but each shall be entitled to
    37  reimbursement for reasonable  expenses  in  the  performance  of  duties
    38  assigned hereunder.
    39    3. [Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, no trustee, offi-
    40  cer or employee of the state, any state agency or municipality appointed
    41  a  trustee shall be deemed to have forfeited or shall forfeit his or her
    42  office or employment by reason of his or her acceptance of a trusteeship
    43  on the authority, his or her service thereon or his  or  her  employment
    44  therewith.
    45    4.  All  trustees]  The chairperson appointed under this section shall
    46  have relevant utility, corporate board or financial experience.
    47    § 3. Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of subdivision (u) of section 1020-f of the
    48  public authorities law, as added by section 7 of part A of  chapter  173
    49  of the laws of 2013, are amended to read as follows:
    50    2.  The authority and the service provider shall thereafter submit for
    51  review to the department of public service any rate proposal that  would
    52  increase  the rates and charges and thus increase the aggregate revenues
    53  of the authority by more than two and one-half percent to be measured on
    54  an annual basis[; provided, however, that the authority may  place  such
    55  rates  and  charges into effect on an interim basis, subject to prospec-
    56  tive rate adjustment; provided, further, that a final rate  plan  issued

        S. 1087                             3

     1  by the authority that would not so increase such rates and charges shall
     2  not be subject to the requirements of paragraph four of this subdivision
     3  and  shall  be considered final for the purposes of review under article
     4  seventy-eight  of  the  civil  practice  law and rules].   The authority
     5  and/or the service provider may otherwise  submit  for  review  to  such
     6  department any rate proposal irrespective of its effect on revenues.
     7    3.  The  authority  shall not fix any final rates and charges proposed
     8  that would not be subject to review by the department of public  service
     9  pursuant to paragraphs one and two of this subdivision until after hold-
    10  ing public hearings thereon upon reasonable public notice, with at least
    11  one  such hearing to be held in each [in the] county [of Suffolk and the
    12  county of Nassau] within the service area  upon  at  least  thirty  days
    13  notice  to  the public. The authority and service provider shall provide
    14  to their customers advance written notice of the date and place  of  any
    15  public hearings concerning proposed increases in rates.
    16    4.  Any  recommendations  associated  with  a  rate proposal submitted
    17  pursuant to paragraphs one and two of this subdivision shall be provided
    18  by the department of public service to the board of the authority  imme-
    19  diately  upon their finalization by the department. [Unless the board of
    20  the authority makes a preliminary determination in its  discretion  that
    21  any particular recommendation is inconsistent with the authority's sound
    22  fiscal  operating practices, any existing contractual or operating obli-
    23  gations, or the provision of safe and adequate service, the board  shall
    24  implement  such  recommendations as part of its final rate plan and such
    25  final determination shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of  this
    26  subdivision  and  be  considered  final for the purposes of review under
    27  article seventy-eight of the civil practice law  and  rules.  The  board
    28  shall  make  any  such preliminary determination of inconsistency within
    29  thirty days of receipt of such  recommendations,  with  notice  and  the
    30  basis  of  such determination being provided to the department of public
    31  service, and contemporaneously posted on the websites of  the  authority
    32  and its service provider. The board shall thereafter, within thirty days
    33  of such posting and with due advance notice to the public, hold a public
    34  hearing  with respect to its preliminary determination of inconsistency.
    35  At such hearing, the department of  public  service  shall  present  the
    36  basis for its recommendations, the board shall present the basis for its
    37  determination  of inconsistency and the service provider may present its
    38  position. The authority and the service provider may,  during  the  time
    39  period before such public hearing reach agreement with the department on
    40  disputed issues. Within thirty days after such public hearing, the board
    41  of  the  authority  shall  announce  its final determination and planned
    42  implementation with respect to any such recommendations. The authority's
    43  final determination of inconsistency shall be subject to any  applicable
    44  judicial  review  proceeding,  including  review available under article
    45  seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.] The board shall  not
    46  approve a final rate plan until it holds a public hearing in each county
    47  within  the service area upon at least thirty days notice to the public.
    48  At such hearing, the department of  public  service  shall  present  the
    49  basis  for  its recommendations. Within ninety days of the conclusion of
    50  the public hearing, the board shall render a final determination on  the
    51  rate  proposal. In making a final determination, the board shall protect
    52  the economic interests of its ratepayers and the service area. The board
    53  shall also consider the recommendations of the department  and  criteria
    54  in  paragraph  (a) of subdivision three of section three-b of the public
    55  service law. The board shall not  be  authorized  to  approve  any  rate
    56  increase  to  offset  revenue loss due to energy conservation efforts by

        S. 1087                             4

     1  consumers. Such final determination shall be considered  final  for  the
     2  purposes of review under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law
     3  and rules.
     4    § 4. Subparagraph (v) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 3 of section 3-b
     5  of  the  public  service  law,  as amended by chapter 479 of the laws of
     6  2017, is amended and a  new  subparagraph  (vi)  is  added  to  read  as
     7  follows:
     8    (v)  The parties to any such rate review proceeding shall include, but
     9  not be limited to, department staff, the authority, the service provider
    10  and[, to the extent it deems  necessary  or  appropriate,]  the  utility
    11  intervention unit.
    12    (vi)  The  department  shall  not  recommend a rate increase to offset
    13  revenue loss due to energy conservation efforts by consumers.
    14    § 5. Severability. If any provision of this  act  or  the  application
    15  thereof  shall  for  any  reason  be  adjudged by any court of competent
    16  jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not  affect,  impair  or
    17  invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its oper-
    18  ation  to  the provision thereof directly involved in the controversy in
    19  which the judgment shall have been rendered.
    20    § 6. This act shall take effect immediately.
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