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A08611 Summary:

COSPNSRRosenthal L, Thiele, Simon, Colton, Otis, Lupardo, Santabarbara, Shrestha, Kelles, Epstein, Seawright, Septimo, Reyes, Simone, Jacobson
MLTSPNSRGlick, Hevesi
Add §24-c, Pub Serv L; add §97-uuuu, St Fin L
Relates to utility intervenor reimbursement to a participant for its reasonable costs of participation in any proceeding before the Public Service Commission (PSC).
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A08611 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Solages
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to utility interve- nor reimbursement; and to amend the state finance law, in relation to establishing the utility intervenor account   SUMMARY: Section 1. Amends the public service law by adding a new section 24-c. Section 2. Amends the state finance law by adding a new section 97-uuuu. Section 3. Sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The intent of this legislation is to recognize and remedy the fact that individual action by residential consumers and small businesses for the purposes of participating in utility matters and communicating their views is rendered impracticable by reason of the disproportionate expense of taking such action. Public Service Commission (PSC) proceedings sometimes minimize public participation. It can be difficult for New Yorkers to follow relevant proceedings. The Commission's usual meeting time is 10:30 a.m., a time when the average citizen or small business owner is not likely to participate. In many instances, the only people who can attend on a regular basis are most likely those whose job depends on it, such as representatives of the utilities and other special interests. The legis- lation recognizes that citizen participation should be encouraged when government regulators set policy. Individuals who seek to participate in PSC utility proceedings are referred to as intervenors. Increased public participation through the intervenor process, if sought and not fought, will spur a more open and accountable government regulatory process that may yield creative socially responsible solutions to difficult issues. This legislation will provide a mechanism to allow residential and small business utility customers to access financial resources to become active participants in PSC proceedings. This includes the ability to receive compensation of advocate fees; expert witness fees, and other reasonable costs associated with their participation.   RACIAL JUSTICE IMPACT: TBD.   GENDER JUSTICE IMPACT: TBD.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2023: A7165; veto. 2021-22: A873; veto 161. 2019-20: A145; referred to energy. 2017-18: All; referred to energy. 2015-16: A860a; referred to energy. 2013-14: A1247; referred to energy. 2011-12: A27a; reported to ways and means. 2010: A8722d; referred to ways and means. 2009: A8722; referred to energy.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state. Intervenor fees would be provided by utilities.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.
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