General Assembly>Division of Legislative Services>Publications>Session Summaries>2003>Public Service Companies


Public Service Companies


P HB1545

Release of procurement records under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 and the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002. Provides that once a comprehensive agreement has been entered into under the Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 and the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002, a responsible public entity shall make available, upon request, procurement records in accordance with § 2.2-4342. The bill provides that procurement records shall not be interpreted to include proprietary, commercial or financial information, balance sheets, financial statements, or trade secrets that may be provided by the private entity as evidence of its qualifications. The bill also contains a technical amendment.
Patron - Marshall, R.G.

P HB1925

Technology infrastructure projects added to Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002. Amends the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 to include technology infrastructure as a qualifying project. The original version of this bill was a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science.
Patron - Nixon

P HB2164

Virginia Wireless Service Authorities Act. Authorizes any locality to create a wireless service authority, which may provide qualifying communications services as authorized by Article 5.1 (§ 56-484.7:1 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 56. The authority shall have many of the powers typically granted to authorities, including the issuance of revenue bonds.
Patron - Phillips

P HB2318

Electric Restructuring; Legislative Transition Task Force. Extends the sunset for the Legislative Transition Task Force from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2008.
Patron - Plum

P HB2319

Electric utility restructuring; pilot programs for aggregation. Authorizes the State Corporation Commission to conduct pilot programs. The Commission may establish opt-in and opt-out municipal aggregation pilots and any other pilot program deemed to be in the public interest. The SCC is to report to the Legislative Transition Task Force on the status of the pilots each November through 2006.
Patron - Plum

P HB2397

Public utilities; communications services. Gives the State Corporation Commission the authority to enforce the provisions of law that permit a locality to offer communications services, including local telephone service, to customers. Localities that have obtained a certificate to offer local telephone service are required to file an annual report demonstrating that they have complied with the requirements of law regarding certain accounting practices. Localities offering qualifying communications services, including high-speed data and Internet services, are required to provide nondiscriminatory access to for-profit providers of communications services on a first-come, first-served basis, are prohibited from cross-subsidizing such services, and are prohibited from acquiring facilities for such services by eminent domain. The Commission may deem telephone services competitive on the basis of a category of customers, and the Commission may also determine bundles of competitive and noncompetitive services if the noncompetitive services are available separately.
Patron - May

P HB2453

Electric utility restructuring; regional transmission entities. Delays the date by which incumbent electric utilities with transmission capacity must join a regional transmission entity (RTE). The Electric Utility Restructuring Act originally required utilities to join an RTE by January 1, 2001. This measure provides that utilities shall not join an RTE prior to July 1, 2004. Utilities are required to file an application to join an RTE by July 1, 2003, and to transfer management and control of transmission assets to the RTE by January 1, 2005, subject to State Corporation Commission approval. Prior to approving a request to join an RTE, the Commission must determine that the action will (i) ensure that consumers' needs for economic and reliable transmission are met and (ii) meet the transmission needs of electric generation suppliers that do not own, operate, control or have an entitlement to transmission capacity. In addition, requests for approval shall include a study of comparative costs and benefits, including an analysis of the economic effects of the transfer on consumers and the effects of transmission congestion costs.
Patron - Parrish

P HB2637

Electric utility restructuring; suspension. Suspends the application of the Virginia Electric Utility Restructuring Act to any investor-owned incumbent electric utility supplying electric service to retail customers on January 1, 2003, whose service territory is located entirely within five enumerated counties in Southwest Virginia. The suspension will continue so long as the utility does not provide retail electric services in any other service territory in any jurisdiction to customers who have the right to receive retail electric service from another supplier.
Patron - Kilgore

P HB2721

Telecommunications services; arbitration. Authorizes the State Corporation Commission to discharge the responsibilities of state commissions under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, including the arbitration of interconnection agreements between local exchange carriers. The Commission may defer selected issues. If additional costs incurred by the Commission cannot be recovered through the maximum levy currently authorized for telephone companies, the maximum levy will be increased to the extent necessary to recover the additional costs.
Patron - Morgan

P SB875

Telecommunications services; certificate. Creates a statutory procedure for cities and towns that operate a municipal electric utility and obtain a certificate to operate as a telephone utility to offer cable television services. Before offering cable television services, a locality is required to (i) hold a preliminary public hearing, (ii) hire a consultant to perform a feasibility study, (iii) hold public hearings on the feasibility study, (iv) determine whether such study finds that certain revenue requirements can be met, and (v) hold a referendum. The municipality shall establish a separate department for operation of cable television services, and establish an enterprise fund to account for the provision of such services, and cross-subsidization is prohibited. The requirements of clauses (i) through (v) will apply to a locality that had obtained a certificate to operate as a telephone utility and installed a cable television headend prior to December 31, 2002.
Patron - Wampler

P SB942

Wireless enhanced 9-1-1 surcharge. Specifies how CMRS providers can collect the wireless E-911 surcharge. Under the current statute, the surcharge is defined as a monthly charge billed monthly. Because prepaid wireless is not billed monthly, the bill provides that the surcharge may be collected either through monthly billing, adding the surcharge at the point of sale, or deducting an equivalent number of minutes.
Patron - Colgan

P SB1094

Small Water or Sewer Public Utility Act rate increases. Requires a small water or sewer utility that implements a rate increase of 50 percent or more to file its financial data with the Commission. If a hearing is ordered, the Commission shall expedite the hearing on the increase, and the funds produced by the increase shall be held in escrow by the utility until the Commission has rendered its decision.
Patron - Edwards

P SB1199

Locomotives. Establishes a procedure whereby locomotives may be required to sound bells and whistles or horns at private railroad grade crossings.
Patron - Deeds

P SB1229

Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995 (PPTA). Provides that, when a responsible public entity solicits proposals for the construction of a transportation facility under PPTA, the responsible public entity will not charge a fee to cover the costs of processing, reviewing, and evaluating proposals received in response to the solicitation for proposals.
Patron - Williams

P SB1307

State Corporation Commission regulation of sewer utilities. Limits the State Corporation Commission's jurisdiction to regulate the rates, terms and conditions of sewage treatment services that are provided by certain public utilities under the terms of a franchise agreement between such a public utility and a municipality established under the laws of the Commonwealth.
Patron - Puckett

P SB1330

Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002; definitions; unsolicited proposals. Clarifies that a responsible public entity may reject any unsolicited proposal and that, if a proposal is rejected, any fees related to the proposal must be returned to the private entity. In addition, the bill requires a responsible public entity to advertise a private entity's request for approval of a qualifying project in the Virginia Business Opportunities publication and, in the case of a state agency, to also post a notice on the Commonwealth's electronic procurement website. The bill also (i) provides for a responsible public entity to post and publish a private entity's request for approval of a qualifying project for a period of time appropriate to encourage competition, and (ii) clarifies that a qualifying project must consist of a specific project and may not include multi-year arrangements related to unspecified projects.
Patron - Stosch


F HB2037

Virginia Multimodal Public-Private Partnership Act of 2003. Provides a detailed mechanism by which the Department of Rail and Public Transportation is to solicit and undertake rail projects under the Public-Private Partnership Act of 1995.
Patron - Marshall, R.G.

F HB2317

Electric utility restructuring; energy assistance assessment. Requires each distributor of electric energy to collect from each residential distribution account $.03 per month, or $.36 per year, to be credited to the Home Energy Assistance Fund. Up to three percent of moneys collected may be used to pay the distributor's costs of collecting and transmitting such funds.
Patron - Plum

F HB2771

Telephonic reading services. Authorizes the State Corporation Commission to collect an assessment from each local telephone company in the Commonwealth for operation of telephonic reading services, similar to the current assessment for operation of telecommunications relay service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. "Telephonic reading services" means audio information provided by telephone to the blind and visually impaired through a nationally available, multi-state service center to registered readers in all parts of the Commonwealth, including the interstate acquisition and distribution of daily newspapers and other information. The Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired is the state agency responsible for the administration and operation of telephonic reading services.
Patron - Petersen

F SB873

Communications services; excess capacity. Requires any public utility, cable television system or telecommunications service provider that owns the infrastructure used to provide its services to the general public to lease excess capacity to (i) any entity that holds a certificate of public convenience and necessity, (ii) a cable television system that has obtained a franchise from a locality, or (iii) any provider of communications services, including Internet and high-speed data services. A lessor shall permit the payment by the lessee of reasonable annual charges and the cost of any modifications to the lessor's infrastructure necessary for the lessee to provide its services.
Patron - Wampler

F SB874

Telecommunications services; certificate. Authorizes any county, city or town that has obtained a certificate to offer telecommunications services to construct, own, maintain, and operate a fiber optic or other communications infrastructure to provide consumers with Internet services, data transmission services, and any other communications services, except for cable television or other video programming services, that its infrastructure is capable of delivering.
Patron - Wampler

F SB876

Electric utility restructuring; suspension. Suspends the application of the Virginia Electric Utility Restructuring Act to any investor-owned incumbent electric utility that sells less than 10 percent of its total energy in Virginia. The suspension will cease when the State Corporation Commission determines that any other state in which the utility operates has instituted retail competition.
Patron - Wampler

F SB891

Electric utility restructuring; wires charges. Provides that if a commercial or industrial customer is willing to commit to market-based pricing should it ever return to its incumbent electric utility, that customer can switch to a competitive service provider without paying a wires charge. Customers who make this commitment and thereafter obtain power from suppliers without paying wires charges to their incumbent electric utilities may not be entitled to obtain power from their incumbent electric utility at its capped rates.
Patron - Watkins

F SB892

Electric utility restructuring; minimum stay requirement. Authorizes any commercial or industrial customer who is returning to its incumbent electric utility or default provider after purchasing power from a competitive supplier to elect to accept market-based pricing as an alternative to being bound to stay with its incumbent electric utility for a minimum 12-month period.
Patron - Watkins


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