Bill Summary for H 235 (2019-2020)
|View NCGA Bill Details||2019-2020 Session|
AN ACT TO MAKE TECHNICAL, CLARIFYING, CONFORMING, AND ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES TO THE LAWS RELATED TO PUBLIC UTILITIES; TO INCREASE THE NONUTILITY FILING FEE FOR A CERTIFICATE OF PUBLIC CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY; TO ALLOW THE USE OF MASTER METERS IN MULTI-UNIT APARTMENT BUILDINGS; AND TO AUTHORIZE A STUDY OF GRANTING THE UTILITIES COMMISSION AND PUBLIC STAFF ADMINISTRATIVE FLEXIBILITY REGARDING JOB CLASSIFICATIONS AND SALARIES.Intro. by Arp, Szoka.
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Amends GS 20-398 concerning the marking of vehicles transporting household goods to make the provisions applicable to attempts to operate. Adds that any law enforcement officer with territorial jurisdiction is authorized to enforce the statute.
Amends GS 62-3 by amending the definitions used in GS Chapter 62 (Public Utilities) as follows. Provides that a certificate of public convenience and necessity can be issued to a person. Provides that public utility does not include any person or company whose sole operation consists of sewer service to less than 15 residential customers. Also excludes from public utility the State, Department of Information Technology, or the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina in the provision or sharing of broadband telecommunications services (was, switched broadband telecommunications services) with non-state entities or organizations of the kind set out in GS 143B-1371 (was, in GS 143B-426.39).
Amends GS 62-15 to require that the Utilities Commission's public staff be hired (was, appointed) by the executive director. Amends the duties of the public staff to: (1) include petitioning to initiate proceeds to review and take appropriate actions with respect to the operations and management of public utilities; (2) delete investigating and making recommendations with respect to application for certificates by radio common carriers; and (3) add appearing before courts and agencies in matters affecting public utility service when deemed necessary by the executive director.
Amends GS 62-60 by providing that only upon request must the Utilities Commission give the Attorney General copies of all applications, petitions, pleasings, orders, and decisions filed with or entered by the Commission.
Amends GS 62-34 by adding that the Public Staff has the right to examine confidential information in exercising any power or performing any duty authorized by GS Chapter 62. Prohibits the Public Staff from disclosing confidential information except as authorized by specified entities. Subjects any information not designated in writing as confidential to disclosure.
Amends GS 62-39 concerning crossings of telephone, telegraph, electric power lines and pipelines and right of way of railroads and other utilities by another utility by no longer specifying that the statute does not limit the right and duty conferred by law with respect to railroad crossing railroads.
Amends GS 62-49 to no longer require the biennial supplements to the publication of utility laws.
Amends GS 62-74 to clarify that public utilities have the right to file a complaint against any other public utility or another person.
Amends GS 62-79 to require that copies of final orders or decisions be served in the manner prescribed by the Commission (was, by registered or certified mail).
Amends GS 62-81 by requiring that all cases or proceedings that are general rate cases or which will substantially affect any utility's overall level of earnings or rate of return, be set for trial or hearing by the Commission which must be set to commence within 180 days (was six months) of the institution or filing thereof. Deletes the required timing of the issuance of a final order. Requires a public utility applying for an increase in rates for sewer service to notify customers within the specified timeline and through the listed procedure. Updates statutory references. No longer sets out the requirements for determining applications for permission to adjust utility rates and charges based only on the cost of fuel used in general or production of electric power.
Amends GS 62-110.1 to require that the Commission confer and consult with the specified entities when developing a long-range need for facility expansion analysis only as the Commission deems necessary. Adds the Public Staff to those that may attend any formal conference on developing a plan for the future requirements of electricity in the state or region.
Amends GS 62-111 by clarifying that a person may not obtain a franchise certificate for the purpose of transferring the same to another and that an offer of such transfer within one year after the same was obtained, prima facie evidence that such franchise or certificate was obtained for the purpose of sale.
Repeals GS 62-130(c), which allowed the Commission to make, require or approve, after public hearing, for intrastate shipments what are known as milling-in-transit, processing-in-transit, or warehousing-in-transit rates on grain, lumber to be dressed, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, or such other commodities as the Commission may designate.
Amends GS 62-140 by deleting outdated language.
Amends GS 62-280.1 to make it a Class 3 misdemeanor to knowingly aid and abet another person in taking to the specified actions to falsely represent a household goods carrier certificate. Gives any law enforcement officer with territorial jurisdiction authority to enforce the statute.
Amends GS 62-300 to increase from $25 to $250 the application fee for a person (other than Class A, B, C, or D utilities) seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
Amends GS 143-166.13 by no longer making Utilities Commission Transportation Inspectors and Special Investigators subject to the Criminal Justice Training and Standards.
Amends GS 143B-963 to allow the Utilities Commission to provide the information obtained under subsection (a) of the statute (concerning the criminal history of any applicant for or current holder of a certificate to transport household goods) to the Public Staff for use in proceedings before the Commission and requires the Public Staff to keep that information confidential.
Amends GS 156-91 by deleting the provision addressing when the superintendent of construction and the railroad company are able to agree as to the exact time at which such work can be done, leading to an investigation and determination by the Commission.
Gives the Utilities Commission and Public Staff, for 2019-20, sole authority and discretion to take the specified actions concerning the classification of positions of and the salaries for employees of the Utilities Commission and Public Staff. Allows the Commission to use available funds to contract with a qualified consultant to study the appropriate job classifications and salaries for employees of the Commission and Public Staff to determine whether current employees are classified and compensated appropriately. Requires study completion by October 1, 2019. Requires a report by March 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committee and division on the study and actions taken.
Authorizes the Revisor of Statutes substitute "Public Staff" for "public staff" wherever the term appears in GS Chapter 62.