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S03923 Summary:

BILL NOS03923A
 
SAME ASSAME AS A07293-A
 
SPONSORSAVINO
 
COSPNSRKLEIN, VALESKY, AVELLA, CARLUCCI, SEPULVEDA
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add Art 1-A 28-a - 28-d, Pub Serv L
 
Creates the state office of the utility consumer advocate to represent interests of residential utility customers.
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S03923 Actions:

BILL NOS03923A
 
01/30/2017REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
01/03/2018REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
04/13/2018AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
04/13/2018PRINT NUMBER 3923A
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S03923 Memo:

Memo not available
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S03923 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         3923--A
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 30, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sens.  SAVINO,  KLEIN, VALESKY, AVELLA, CARLUCCI -- read
          twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
          Committee  on  Energy  and  Telecommunications  --  recommitted to the
          Committee on Energy and Telecommunications in accordance  with  Senate
          Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the public service law,  in  relation  to  creating  the
          state office of the utility consumer advocate
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1.  The public service law is amended by adding a new  article
     2  1-A to read as follows:
     3                                 ARTICLE 1-A
     4              THE STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE
     5  Section 28-a. Definitions.
     6          28-b. Establishment  of the state office of the utility consumer
     7                  advocate.
     8          28-c. Powers of the state office of the utility  consumer  advo-
     9                  cate.
    10          28-d. Reports.
    11    §  28-a.  Definitions.  When  used in this article:   (a) "Department"
    12  means the department of public service.
    13    (b) "Commission" means the public service commission.
    14    (c) "Residential utility customer" means any person  who  is  sold  or
    15  offered for sale residential utility service by a utility company.
    16    (d)  "Utility  company" means any person or entity operating an agency
    17  for public service, including, but not  limited  to,  those  persons  or
    18  entities  subject  to  the  jurisdiction,  supervision  and  regulations
    19  prescribed by or pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
    20    § 28-b. Establishment of the state  office  of  the  utility  consumer
    21  advocate.  There is established the state office of the utility consumer

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03223-03-8

        S. 3923--A                          2
 
     1  advocate to represent the interests of  residential  utility  customers.
     2  The  utility  consumer  advocate shall be appointed by the governor to a
     3  term of six years, upon the advice and consent of the senate. The utili-
     4  ty  consumer  advocate shall possess knowledge and experience in matters
     5  affecting residential utility customers and shall be responsible for the
     6  direction, control, and operation of the state  office  of  the  utility
     7  consumer  advocate,  including  its  hiring  of  staff  and retention of
     8  experts for analysis and testimony in proceedings. The utility  consumer
     9  advocate  shall  not be removed for cause, but may be removed only after
    10  notice and opportunity to be heard, and only for  permanent  disability,
    11  malfeasance, a felony, or conduct involving moral turpitude. Exercise of
    12  independent  judgment  in  advocating positions on behalf of residential
    13  utility customers shall not constitute cause for removal of the  utility
    14  consumer advocate.
    15    §  28-c.  Powers of the state office of the utility consumer advocate.
    16  The state office of the utility consumer advocate shall have  the  power
    17  and  duty  to:  (a)  initiate, intervene in, or participate on behalf of
    18  residential utility customers in any proceedings before the  commission,
    19  the  federal  energy  regulatory  commission, the federal communications
    20  commission, federal, state and local administrative and regulatory agen-
    21  cies, and state and federal courts in any matter or proceeding that  may
    22  substantially  affect  the  interests  of residential utility customers,
    23  including, but not limited to, a  proposed  change  of  rates,  charges,
    24  terms  and  conditions  of  service, the adoption of rules, regulations,
    25  guidelines, orders, standards or final policy decisions where the utili-
    26  ty consumer advocate deems  such  initiation,  intervention  or  partic-
    27  ipation to be necessary or appropriate;
    28    (b)  represent  the  interests of residential utility customers of the
    29  state before federal, state  and  local  administrative  and  regulatory
    30  agencies engaged in the regulation of energy, telecommunications, water,
    31  and  other  utility  services,  and  before  state and federal courts in
    32  actions and proceedings to review the actions of utilities or orders  of
    33  utility  regulatory  agencies.  Any  action or proceeding brought by the
    34  utility consumer advocate before a court or an agency shall  be  brought
    35  in  the  name  of the state office of the utility consumer advocate. The
    36  utility consumer advocate may join with a residential  utility  customer
    37  or group of residential utility customers in bringing an action;
    38    (c)  (i) in addition to any other authority conferred upon the utility
    39  consumer advocate, he or she is authorized, and it shall be his  or  her
    40  duty  to  represent  the interests of residential utility customers as a
    41  party, or otherwise participate for  the  purpose  of  representing  the
    42  interests of such customers before any agencies or courts. He or she may
    43  initiate proceedings if in his or her judgment doing so may be necessary
    44  in  connection  with  any  matter involving the actions or regulation of
    45  public utility companies whether on appeal or otherwise  initiated.  The
    46  utility  consumer advocate may monitor all cases before regulatory agen-
    47  cies in the United States, including the federal communications  commis-
    48  sion and the federal energy regulatory commission that affect the inter-
    49  ests  of  residential  utility  customers  of the state and may formally
    50  participate in those proceedings which in his or her  judgment  warrants
    51  such participation.
    52    (ii) the utility consumer advocate shall exercise his or her independ-
    53  ent  discretion  in  determining  the  interests  of residential utility
    54  customers that will be advocated  in  any  proceeding,  and  determining
    55  whether  to  participate in or initiate any proceeding and, in so deter-
    56  mining, shall consider the public interest, the resources available, and

        S. 3923--A                          3
 
     1  the substantiality of the effect of the proceeding on  the  interest  of
     2  residential utility customers;
     3    (d)  request  and  receive  from any state or local authority, agency,
     4  department or division  of  the  state  or  political  subdivision  such
     5  assistance,  personnel, information, books, records, other documentation
     6  and cooperation necessary to perform its duties; and
     7    (e) enter into cooperative agreements with other government offices to
     8  efficiently carry out its work.
     9    § 28-d. Reports. On July first, two  thousand  nineteen  and  annually
    10  thereafter,  the  state  office  of  the utility consumer advocate shall
    11  issue a report to the governor and the legislature, and make such report
    12  available to the public free of charge on a publicly available  website,
    13  containing, but not limited to, the following information:
    14    (a)  all  proceedings  that  the  state office of the utility consumer
    15  advocate participated in and the outcome of  such  proceedings,  to  the
    16  extent of such outcome and if not confidential;
    17    (b)  estimated  savings to residential utility consumers that resulted
    18  from intervention by the state office of the utility consumer  advocate;
    19  and
    20    (c) policy recommendations and suggested statutory amendments that the
    21  state office of the utility consumer advocate deems necessary.
    22    §  2. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding
    23  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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