An Act To Restore Local Ownership and Control of Maine's Power Delivery Systems
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §12004-G, sub-§36 is enacted to read:
|Public Utilities||Maine Power Delivery Authority Board||Legislative Per Diem and Expenses||35-A MRSA §4002|
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3501, sub-§1, ¶¶D and E, as amended by PL 1999, c. 398, Pt. A, §85 and affected by §§104 and 105, are further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §3501, sub-§1, ¶F is enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA c. 40 is enacted to read:
MAINE POWER DELIVERY AUTHORITY
§ 4001. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 4002. Maine Power Delivery Authority established; board members
The Maine Power Delivery Authority is established to provide for its customer-owners in this State reliable electric transmission and distribution services at the lowest possible cost in accordance with this chapter.
The board is composed of 10 members, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature, all of whom must be residents of the State. One member must be a residential consumer of electricity, one member must be a representative of a commercial consumer of electricity and one member must be a representative of an industrial consumer of electricity. No more than 5 of the members may be members of the same political party. The Governor shall appoint members as follows:
§ 4003. Powers and duties
Upon the conclusion of a contract pursuant to subsection 3, the authority, in soliciting for a new contract, shall give preference to service providers who agree to maintain or improve the terms of the collective bargaining agreement in existence on the conclusion of the prior contract.
§ 4004. Rates
The rates and all other charges of the authority must be sufficient to pay in full the cost of service, including the cost of debt and any payments in lieu of taxation. No debt or liability of the authority is a debt or liability of the State or any agency or instrumentality of the State other than the authority, and neither the State nor any agency or instrumentality of the State other than the authority guarantees any debt or liability of the authority.
§ 4005. Tax-exempt; payments in lieu of taxes
All bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness issued by the authority in accordance with chapter 9 are legal obligations of the authority, and the authority is a quasi-municipal corporation within the meaning and for the purposes of Title 30-A, section 5701. All bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness issued by the authority are legal investments for savings banks in this State and are exempt from state income tax.
§ 4006. Governmental function
The authority, as a public instrumentality, performs a governmental function in the carrying out of the provisions of this chapter, but no debt or liability of the authority may be considered a debt or liability of the State.
§ 4007. Termination of the authority
The authority may not be dissolved or cease operations except by authorization of law and only if all debt and liabilities of the authority have been paid or a sufficient amount for the payment of all debt and liabilities has been placed in an irrevocable trust for the benefit of the holders of the debt.
§ 4008. Accountability, transparency and reporting
The authority is subject to the same standards of governmental review and freedom of access as the Public Utilities Commission. By April 15th of each year, the authority shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities matters summarizing present and future activities and the performance of the authority in meeting its obligations to its ratepayers and employees.
Sec. 5. Review of laws and report. The Public Utilities Commission shall examine all laws that may be affected by this Act or need to be changed as a result of this Act, including laws governing the Maine Power Delivery Authority and laws relating to investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities that may be eliminated as a result of this Act. The commission shall determine any modifications to laws that may be necessary or appropriate as a result of this Act or to effectuate the purposes of this Act and shall submit proposed legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology no later than January 15, 2020. The Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology may report out a bill relating to the subject matter of this Act to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.
This bill creates the Maine Power Delivery Authority as a consumer-owned utility to acquire and operate all transmission and distribution systems in the State currently operated by the investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities known as Central Maine Power Company and Emera Maine.