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AB-956 Energy assistance: corner stores.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2017 09:00 PM
AB956:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 956


Introduced by Assembly Member Ting

February 16, 2017


An act to add Section 748 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 956, as introduced, Ting. Energy assistance: corner stores.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations and gas corporations. 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 each electrical corporation and gas corporation to develop and implement a program of rate assistance to eligible food banks at a fixed percentage to be determined by the commission and subject to direction and supervision by the commission. Pursuant to existing law, the commission supervises various energy efficiency and low-income targeted energy efficiency programs administered by electrical corporations, gas corporations, and 3rd-party administrators.
This bill would require each electrical corporation and gas corporation to develop a program, subject to the direction and supervision of the commission, that provides incentives and assistance to owners, operators, or lessees of corner stores, as defined, to reduce their electricity and gas bills through conservation and energy efficiency improvements in order to improve community access to healthy and fresh food options. The bill would provide that in order to qualify for the program, counties would be required to demonstrate that they have the ability to oversee corner stores and ensure that those stores are providing fresh food options once they receive improvements.
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 748 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

748.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “corner store” means a small-scale store or grocery store, either an independent store or a chain store, that sells a limited selection of foods and other products, in rural, urban, and suburban settings. “Corner store” includes stores that are not located on a corner and stores commonly referred to as convenience stores or neighborhood stores.
(b) Subject to the direction and approval of the commission pursuant to Section 382, each electrical corporation and gas corporation shall develop and implement a program, in coordination with participating counties, to provide incentives and assistance to owners, operators, or lessees of corner stores to reduce their electricity and gas bills through conservation and energy efficiency improvements in order to improve community access to healthy and fresh food options.
(c) In order to qualify for the program, counties shall demonstrate that they have the ability to oversee corner stores and ensure that those stores are providing fresh food options once they receive improvements.

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.