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AB-2068 Electricity: rates: public schools.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB2068:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2068


Introduced by Assembly Member Chu

February 07, 2018


An act to add Section 35178.5 to the Education Code, and to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 8500) to Division 4.1 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity. An act to add Section 749.5 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2068, as amended, Chu. Electricity: rates: public schools.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including gas corporations, as defined, while local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined, are under the direction of their governing boards. Existing law authorizes the Public Utilities 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 public utilities to develop programs in cooperation with local school districts to reduce their electricity and gas bills through conservation and improvements in efficiency.

This bill would require the commission to require electrical corporations to develop a rate for certain public schools that provides a 35% discount from the rate of a similarly situated class of ratepayers.

This bill would require the governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility to develop a rate for certain public schools that provides a 35% discount from the rate of a similarly situated class of ratepayers.

By imposing additional duties on local agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the governing board of a school district to expend any monetary savings resulting from a rate discounted pursuant to the bill for the public school that is subject to the discounted rate. Because the governing board of a school district would be required to determine the monetary savings, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime. Because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing the requirements of the bill 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 with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for specified reasons.

With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

This bill would require the commission to coordinate with all electrical and gas corporations to evaluate the feasibility and economic impacts of establishing a public school electric and gas rate that would reflect a discount of at least 15% from the current rate structure. This report shall be submitted to the Legislature, by January 1, 2020, and includes specified requirements.
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.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) The state’s public schools are nonprofit entities that provide a wide range of public benefits and do not have the ability to raise taxes or fees to meet budget shortfalls.
(2) The state has invested in energy efficiency improvements in public schools to reduce climate pollution and energy costs; however, energy needs are still great as schools are constantly improving and adapting to technological and operational essentials.
(3) Public schools spend the same amount on energy bills as they do on books and supplies annually.
(4) Recently, many public schools have experienced electricity rate increases that resulted in financial constraints and less funding for direct student services.
(5) The California Constitution and the Public Utilities Code authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to review and approve rates proposed by the public utilities in the state that reflect expenses and authorized revenue requirements.
(6) There are different rates for different energy users such as residential, commercial, and industrial; schools are under the commercial category.
(7) The Public Utilities Commission, in August 2017, made the recommendation, as part of the Decision Revenue Allocation and Rate Design for San Diego Gas & Electric Company (D17-08-030), that San Diego Gas & Electric Company develop a schools-only rate separate from the medium or large commercial and industrial class rates.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to require the Public Utilities Commission, as part of its ratesetting process, to direct all electrical and gas corporations to evaluate the impact and establish a public school rate that would reflect a discount of at least 15 percent from the current rate for public schools.

SEC. 2.

 Section 749.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

749.5.
 (a) The commission shall, as part of its ratesetting process, direct all electrical and gas corporations to evaluate and report findings, by January 1, 2020, on the feasibility and economic impact of establishing a public school electric and gas rate that would reflect a discount of at least 15 percent from the current rate structure. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Commercial rate increases in the past five years that affected public schools within the service territory of all electrical and gas corporations.
(2) Economic impact to all rate payers if all public schools within the service territory received a 15-percent discount from the current rate structure.
(b) The commission shall determine whether to adopt a public school electric and gas rate 90 days after completion of the report required pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) The commission shall submit the report required in subdivision (a) to the Legislature, on or before January 1, 2020, in compliance with the requirements of Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 3.

 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.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to ensure that public schools are provided with affordable energy.

SEC. 2.Section 35178.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:
35178.5.

The governing board of a school district shall expend any monetary savings resulting from a discounted rate developed pursuant to Section 8390 of the Public Utilities Code for the public school that is subject to the discounted rate.

SEC. 3.Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 8500) is added to Division 4.1 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:
8.Public School Facilities
8500.

(a)For purposes of this section, “eligible public school” means a public school, including a charter school, maintaining a kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, that satisfies any of the following conditions:

(1)Receives program funding pursuant to Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 6301 et seq.).

(2)Has at least 40 percent of its pupils who qualify for free or reduced price meals.

(3)Has at least 25 percent of its pupils who are classified as English learners within the meaning of Section 42238.02 of the Education Code.

(4)Generates at least 10 percent of its electrical needs onsite from renewable or other sources.

(b)The commission shall require retail sellers, as defined in Section 399.12, to develop a rate for eligible public schools that provides a 35 percent discount from the rate of a similarly situated class of ratepayers.

(c)The governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility shall develop a rate for eligible public schools that provides a 35 percent discount from the rate of a similarly situated class of ratepayers.

SEC. 4.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act or because 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.

However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.