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A04610 Summary:

Amd §65, Pub Serv L; amd §1020-f, Pub Auth L
Provides for a two percent cap on rate increases imposed by utilities.
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A04610 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 17, 2023
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  EICHENSTEIN -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
        AN ACT to amend the public service law and the public  authorities  law,
          in  relation  to  providing  for  a  two percent cap on rate increases
          imposed by utilities

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision 1 of section 65 of the public service law, as
     2  amended by chapter 789 of the laws  of  1930,  is  amended  to  read  as
     3  follows:
     4    1. Every gas corporation, every electric corporation and every munici-
     5  pality  shall  furnish  and  provide such service, instrumentalities and
     6  facilities as shall be safe and adequate and in all  respects  just  and
     7  reasonable.  All  charges  made or demanded by any such gas corporation,
     8  electric corporation or municipality for gas, electricity or any service
     9  rendered or to be rendered, shall be just and reasonable  and  not  more
    10  than  allowed  by  law  or  by  order of the commission. Every unjust or
    11  unreasonable charge made or demanded for gas, electricity  or  any  such
    12  service, or in connection therewith, or in excess of that allowed by law
    13  or  by the order of the commission is prohibited.  No gas corporation or
    14  electric corporation shall increase rates by more than  two  percent  as
    15  measured on an annual basis.
    16    §  2.  Paragraphs  2 and 4 of subdivision (u) of section 1020-f of the
    17  public authorities law, as added by section 7 of part A of  chapter  173
    18  of the laws of 2013, are amended to read as follows:
    19    2.  The authority and the service provider shall thereafter submit for
    20  review to the department of public service any rate proposal that  would
    21  increase the rates and charges [and thus increase the aggregate revenues
    22  of  the  authority  by  more  than two and one-half]. Such rate proposal
    23  shall not provide for an increase of such rates by more than two percent
    24  to be measured on an annual basis[; provided, however, that the authori-

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

        A. 4610                             2

     1  ty may place such rates and charges into effect  on  an  interim  basis,
     2  subject  to prospective rate adjustment; provided, further, that a final
     3  rate plan issued by the authority that would not so increase such  rates
     4  and  charges  shall not be subject to the requirements of paragraph four
     5  of this subdivision and shall be considered final for  the  purposes  of
     6  review  under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.
     7  The authority and/or the  service  provider  may  otherwise  submit  for
     8  review  to  such department any rate proposal irrespective of its effect
     9  on revenues].
    10    4. Any recommendations  associated  with  a  rate  proposal  submitted
    11  pursuant to paragraphs one and two of this subdivision shall be provided
    12  by  the department of public service to the board of the authority imme-
    13  diately upon their finalization by the department. Unless the  board  of
    14  the  authority  makes a preliminary determination in its discretion that
    15  any particular recommendation is inconsistent with the authority's sound
    16  fiscal operating practices, any existing contractual or operating  obli-
    17  gations,  or the provision of safe and adequate service, the board shall
    18  implement such recommendations as part of its final rate plan  and  such
    19  final  determination shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of this
    20  subdivision and be considered final for the  purposes  of  review  under
    21  article  seventy-eight  of  the civil practice law and rules.  The board
    22  shall not approve a final rate plan that increases rates  by  more  than
    23  two  percent. The board shall make any such preliminary determination of
    24  inconsistency within thirty days of  receipt  of  such  recommendations,
    25  with  notice  and  the basis of such determination being provided to the
    26  department of  public  service,  and  contemporaneously  posted  on  the
    27  websites  of  the  authority  and  its service provider. The board shall
    28  thereafter, within thirty days of such  posting  and  with  due  advance
    29  notice to the public, hold a public hearing with respect to its prelimi-
    30  nary  determination of inconsistency. At such hearing, the department of
    31  public service shall present the  basis  for  its  recommendations,  the
    32  board shall present the basis for its determination of inconsistency and
    33  the  service  provider  may  present its position. The authority and the
    34  service provider may, during the time period before such public  hearing
    35  reach  agreement  with  the department on disputed issues. Within thirty
    36  days after such  public  hearing,  the  board  of  the  authority  shall
    37  announce its final determination and planned implementation with respect
    38  to  any  such  recommendations.  The  authority's final determination of
    39  inconsistency  shall  be  subject  to  any  applicable  judicial  review
    40  proceeding,  including  review  available under article seventy-eight of
    41  the civil practice law and rules.
    42    § 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    43  have become a law.
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