LD 1646 LR 138(02)
An Act To Restore Local Ownership and Control of Maine's Power Delivery Systems
Fiscal Note for Bill as Amended by Committee Amendment " "
Committee: Energy, Utilities and Technology
Fiscal Note Required: Yes
Fiscal Note
Legislative Cost/Study
Current biennium cost increase - Other Special Revenue Funds
Legislative Cost/Study
The general operating expenses of this study/task force are projected to be $1,695 in fiscal year 2020-21 and $1,218 in fiscal year 2021-22. An estimated $6,190 is available in fiscal year 2020-21 in the Legislature's budget for legislative studies as well as balances from prior years for this purpose. Whether these amounts are sufficient to fund all studies will depend on the number of studies authorized by the Legislative Council and the Legislature The task force is authorized to contract for staffing, consulting or other services to complete its work.  Whether or not these costs will be incurred will depend on the total amount of funds received by the task force and accepted by the Legislative Council.  This fiscal estimate assumes the agencies listed in subsection 7 will provide staff support in the absence of additional funding beyond the funding needed to reimburse legislative members for their attendance.
Fiscal Detail and Notes
Any costs resulting from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) initiating an inquiry related to notification of authorized entities of any proposed sale of an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility and to provide the opportunity to bid on the sale are anticipated to be minor and can be absorbed within existing budgeted resources.  The PUC has indicated that a second inquiry regarding a process or pilot program to finance capital investment in and ownership of new transmission and distribution plant by a least-cost capital provider and to compensate transmission and distribution utilities for certain planning, building, maintaining and operating activities of a new plant would require specialized consulting assistance to provide a complete and comprehensive report in time for consideration in the next legislative session. No estimate of these costs is made at this time. Without this consulting assistance the PUC can only solicit public comments on the issues and provide a report that discusses the comments received and the questions raised. 
Additional costs to the Office of the State Treasurer and the PUC associated with providing assistance to the task force can be absorbed within existing budgeted resources. The additional cost to the Finance Authority of Maine to provide the task force with insight and/or information on financing, if requested, can be absorbed within existing budgeted resources.