S04550 Summary:

BILL NO    S04550B

SAME AS    SAME AS A06239-B

SPONSOR    SAVINO

COSPNSR    ADDABBO, AVELLA, BRESLIN, CARLUCCI, DILAN, ESPAILLAT, GIPSON,
           GRISANTI, HANNON, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HOYLMAN, KENNEDY, KLEIN, KRUEGER,
           LATIMER, MARTINS, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, PERKINS, SAMPSON, SANDERS,
           SMITH, SQUADRON, STAVISKY, TKACZYK, VALESKY

MLTSPNSR   

Add Art 1-A SS28-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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S04550 Memo:

Memo not available
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S04550 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                        4550--B

                              2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                                   I N  S E N A T E

                                    April 10, 2013
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  Sens.  SAVINO,  ADDABBO,  AVELLA,  CARLUCCI,  ESPAILLAT,
         GIPSON, GRISANTI, HANNON, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HOYLMAN,  KENNEDY,  KLEIN,
         KRUEGER,  LATIMER,  MONTGOMERY,  PARKER,  SAMPSON,  SQUADRON, TKACZYK,
         VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed,  and  when  printed  to  be
         committed  to the Committee on Finance -- recommitted to the Committee
         on Finance in accordance with Senate  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee
         discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
         to  said  committee  --  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    S  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

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD09713-08-4
       S. 4550--B                          2

    1  ENTITIES  SUBJECT  TO  THE  JURISDICTION,  SUPERVISION  AND  REGULATIONS
    2  PRESCRIBED BY OR PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER.
    3    S  28-B.  ESTABLISHMENT  OF  THE  STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER
    4  ADVOCATE. THERE IS ESTABLISHED THE STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY  CONSUMER
    5  ADVOCATE  TO  REPRESENT  THE INTERESTS OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS.
    6  THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE  GOVERNOR  TO  A
    7  TERM OF SIX YEARS, UPON THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. THE UTILI-
    8  TY  CONSUMER  ADVOCATE SHALL POSSESS KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN MATTERS
    9  AFFECTING RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS AND SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
   10  DIRECTION, CONTROL, AND OPERATION OF THE STATE  OFFICE  OF  THE  UTILITY
   11  CONSUMER  ADVOCATE,  INCLUDING  ITS  HIRING  OF  STAFF  AND RETENTION OF
   12  EXPERTS FOR ANALYSIS AND TESTIMONY IN PROCEEDINGS. THE UTILITY  CONSUMER
   13  ADVOCATE  SHALL  NOT BE REMOVED FOR CAUSE, BUT MAY BE REMOVED ONLY AFTER
   14  NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD, AND ONLY FOR  PERMANENT  DISABILITY,
   15  MALFEASANCE, A FELONY, OR CONDUCT INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE. EXERCISE OF
   16  INDEPENDENT  JUDGMENT  IN  ADVOCATING POSITIONS ON BEHALF OF RESIDENTIAL
   17  UTILITY CUSTOMERS SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE CAUSE FOR REMOVAL OF THE  UTILITY
   18  CONSUMER ADVOCATE.
   19    S  28-C.  POWERS OF THE STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE.
   20  THE STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE SHALL HAVE  THE  POWER
   21  AND  DUTY  TO:  (A)  INITIATE, INTERVENE IN, OR PARTICIPATE ON BEHALF OF
   22  RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS IN ANY PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE  COMMISSION,
   23  THE  FEDERAL  ENERGY  REGULATORY  COMMISSION, THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS
   24  COMMISSION, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND REGULATORY AGEN-
   25  CIES, AND STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS IN ANY MATTER OR PROCEEDING THAT  MAY
   26  SUBSTANTIALLY  AFFECT  THE  INTERESTS  OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS,
   27  INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A  PROPOSED  CHANGE  OF  RATES,  CHARGES,
   28  TERMS  AND  CONDITIONS  OF  SERVICE, THE ADOPTION OF RULES, REGULATIONS,
   29  GUIDELINES, ORDERS, STANDARDS OR FINAL POLICY DECISIONS WHERE THE UTILI-
   30  TY CONSUMER ADVOCATE DEEMS  SUCH  INITIATION,  INTERVENTION  OR  PARTIC-
   31  IPATION TO BE NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE;
   32    (B)  REPRESENT  THE  INTERESTS OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS OF THE
   33  STATE BEFORE FEDERAL, STATE  AND  LOCAL  ADMINISTRATIVE  AND  REGULATORY
   34  AGENCIES ENGAGED IN THE REGULATION OF ENERGY, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, WATER,
   35  AND  OTHER  UTILITY  SERVICES,  AND  BEFORE  STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS IN
   36  ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS TO REVIEW THE ACTIONS OF UTILITIES OR ORDERS  OF
   37  UTILITY  REGULATORY  AGENCIES.  ANY  ACTION OR PROCEEDING BROUGHT BY THE
   38  UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE BEFORE A COURT OR AN AGENCY SHALL  BE  BROUGHT
   39  IN  THE  NAME  OF THE STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE. THE
   40  UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE MAY JOIN WITH A RESIDENTIAL  UTILITY  CUSTOMER
   41  OR GROUP OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS IN BRINGING AN ACTION;
   42    (C)  (I) IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON THE UTILITY
   43  CONSUMER ADVOCATE, HE OR SHE IS AUTHORIZED, AND IT SHALL BE HIS  OR  HER
   44  DUTY  TO  REPRESENT  THE INTERESTS OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS AS A
   45  PARTY, OR OTHERWISE PARTICIPATE FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF  REPRESENTING  THE
   46  INTERESTS OF SUCH CUSTOMERS BEFORE ANY AGENCIES OR COURTS. HE OR SHE MAY
   47  INITIATE PROCEEDINGS IF IN HIS OR HER JUDGMENT DOING SO MAY BE NECESSARY
   48  IN  CONNECTION  WITH  ANY  MATTER INVOLVING THE ACTIONS OR REGULATION OF
   49  PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANIES WHETHER ON APPEAL OR OTHERWISE  INITIATED.  THE
   50  UTILITY  CONSUMER ADVOCATE MAY MONITOR ALL CASES BEFORE REGULATORY AGEN-
   51  CIES IN THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS  COMMIS-
   52  SION AND THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION THAT AFFECT THE INTER-
   53  ESTS  OF  RESIDENTIAL  UTILITY  CUSTOMERS  OF THE STATE AND MAY FORMALLY
   54  PARTICIPATE IN THOSE PROCEEDINGS WHICH IN HIS OR HER  JUDGMENT  WARRANTS
   55  SUCH PARTICIPATION.
       S. 4550--B                          3

    1    (II) THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE SHALL EXERCISE HIS OR HER INDEPEND-
    2  ENT  DISCRETION  IN  DETERMINING  THE  INTERESTS  OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY
    3  CUSTOMERS THAT WILL BE ADVOCATED  IN  ANY  PROCEEDING,  AND  DETERMINING
    4  WHETHER  TO  PARTICIPATE IN OR INITIATE ANY PROCEEDING AND, IN SO DETER-
    5  MINING, SHALL CONSIDER THE PUBLIC INTEREST, THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE, AND
    6  THE  SUBSTANTIALITY  OF  THE EFFECT OF THE PROCEEDING ON THE INTEREST OF
    7  RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CUSTOMERS;
    8    (D) REQUEST AND RECEIVE FROM ANY STATE  OR  LOCAL  AUTHORITY,  AGENCY,
    9  DEPARTMENT  OR  DIVISION  OF  THE  STATE  OR  POLITICAL SUBDIVISION SUCH
   10  ASSISTANCE, PERSONNEL, INFORMATION, BOOKS, RECORDS, OTHER  DOCUMENTATION
   11  AND COOPERATION NECESSARY TO PERFORM ITS DUTIES; AND
   12    (E) ENTER INTO COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICES TO
   13  EFFICIENTLY CARRY OUT ITS WORK.
   14    S  28-D.  REPORTS.  ON  JULY  FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN AND ANNUALLY
   15  THEREAFTER, THE STATE OFFICE OF  THE  UTILITY  CONSUMER  ADVOCATE  SHALL
   16  ISSUE A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE, AND MAKE SUCH REPORT
   17  AVAILABLE  TO THE PUBLIC FREE OF CHARGE ON A PUBLICLY AVAILABLE WEBSITE,
   18  CONTAINING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
   19    (A) ALL PROCEEDINGS THAT THE STATE  OFFICE  OF  THE  UTILITY  CONSUMER
   20  ADVOCATE  PARTICIPATED  IN  AND  THE OUTCOME OF SUCH PROCEEDINGS, TO THE
   21  EXTENT OF SUCH OUTCOME AND IF NOT CONFIDENTIAL;
   22    (B) ESTIMATED SAVINGS TO RESIDENTIAL UTILITY CONSUMERS  THAT  RESULTED
   23  FROM  INTERVENTION BY THE STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE;
   24  AND
   25    (C) POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS AND SUGGESTED STATUTORY AMENDMENTS THAT THE
   26  STATE OFFICE OF THE UTILITY CONSUMER ADVOCATE DEEMS NECESSARY.
   27    S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of April next  succeeding
   28  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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