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AB-2218 Electricity and natural gas rates.(2013-2014)

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Assembly Bill No. 2218
CHAPTER 581

An act to add Section 739.3 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.

[ Approved by Governor  September 26, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2218, Bradford. Electricity and natural gas rates.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations, as defined, while local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined, are under the direction of their governing board. 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 requires the commission to establish a program of assistance to low-income electric and gas customers, referred to as the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program.
This bill would require each electrical corporation and gas corporation, subject to direction and supervision by the commission, to develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks, as defined, at a fixed percentage to be determined by the commission. The bill would authorize the commission to adjust the fixed percentage of rate assistance as appropriate. The bill would encourage the governing board of each local publicly owned electric utility to develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks at a fixed percentage, to be determined by the governing board, but consistent with that fixed by the commission for electrical corporations.
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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 739.3 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

739.3.
 (a) Subject to direction and supervision by the commission, each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks at a fixed percentage to be determined by the commission. The commission may adjust the fixed percentage as appropriate. The funding source for the rate assistance program is subject to the approval of the commission.
(b) The Legislature encourages the governing board of each local publicly owned electric utility to develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks at a fixed percentage, to be determined by the governing board, but consistent with that fixed by the commission for electrical corporations.
(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Eligible food bank” means a qualified eligible recipient agency that has executed an agreement with the State Department of Social Services in order to participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
(2) “Eligible recipient agency” has the same meaning as defined in Section 251.3(d) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(3) “Agreement” means an agreement executed in compliance with Section 251.2 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.