- District 58
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical, gas, and water corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility, and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. Existing law authorizes an electrical, gas, or water corporation to offer credit card and debit card bill payment options, if approved by the commission, and, upon approval, authorizes an electrical, gas, or water corporation to recover, through an individual customer transaction fee, reasonable transaction costs incurred by the electrical, gas, or water corporation from those customers that choose those methods of payment. Existing law, until January 1, 2022, authorizes a water corporation with more than 10,000 service connections to seek commission approval, through its general rate case application, to operate a pilot program designed to evaluate customer interest in, and utilization of, bill payment options, including, but not limited to, credit card, debit card, and prepaid card bill payment options, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of, and customer interests served by, customer access to those bill payment options. Existing law limits the duration of a pilot program to the duration of the water corporation's rate case cycle. Existing law requires the commission to allow a water corporation to recover the reasonable expenses incurred by the water corporation in providing its customers with these bill payment options, but allows water corporations to not impose a transaction fee on its customers for using these bill payment options. This bill would delete the time-limited pilot program provisions, require the commission to authorize a water corporation with 10,000 or more service connections, unrelated to its rate case cycle, to recover the reasonable expenses incurred by the water corporation in providing bill payment options to its customers, and not require the water corporation to impose a transaction fee on its customers. Existing law prohibits the costs of a pilot program from being collected from customers who participate in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program or the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) for low-income water ratepayers. The CARE and CAP programs have the same eligibility criteria and method of qualification. This bill would prohibit a water corporation from recovering the costs of offering the bill payment options to its customers from participants in the CAP program. Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime. Because the provisions of this bill would be a part of the act and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing its requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Approved by the Governor.
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 269, Statutes of 2021.
Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4:30 p.m.
Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling. (Ayes 78. Noes 0.).
Assembly Rule 77 suspended. (Ayes 54. Noes 16.)
In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending. May be considered on or after September 2 pursuant to Assembly Rule 77.
Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 39. Noes 0.).
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
Read third time and amended. Ordered to second reading.
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
From committee: Be ordered to second reading pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8.
In Senate. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment.
Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Senate. (Ayes 77. Noes 0. Page 1252.)
Read second time. Ordered to Consent Calendar.
From committee: Do pass. To Consent Calendar. (Ayes 14. Noes 0.) (April 21).
Read second time and amended.
From committee: Amend, and do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 15. Noes 0.) (April 7).
From printer. May be heard in committee March 21.
Read first time. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|02/18/21 - Introduced|
|04/12/21 - Amended Assembly|
|08/23/21 - Amended Senate|
|09/03/21 - Enrolled|
|09/23/21 - Chaptered|
|04/06/21- Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy|
|04/19/21- Assembly Appropriations|
|06/21/21- Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications|
|06/23/21- Sen. Floor Analyses|
|08/25/21- Sen. Floor Analyses|
|08/31/21- ASSEMBLY FLOOR ANALYSIS|
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