Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 4. LAWS RELATING TO UTILITY CORPORATIONS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES [7503 - 8286]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 7. Miscellaneous Regulations [8201 - 8286]

  ( Chapter 7 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

ARTICLE 5. Women, Minority, Disabled Veteran, and LGBT Business Enterprises [8281 - 8286]
  ( Heading of Article 5 amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 633, Sec. 1. )

8281.
  

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the essence of the American economic system of private enterprise is free, open, and transparent competition. Only through free, open, and transparent competition can free markets, reasonable and just prices, free entry into business, and opportunities for the expression and growth of personal initiative and individual judgment be ensured. The preservation and expansion of that competition are basic to the economic well-being of this state and that well-being cannot be realized unless the actual and potential capacity of women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises is encouraged and developed. Therefore, it is the declared policy of the state to aid the interests of women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises in order to preserve reasonable and just prices and a free competitive enterprise, to ensure that a fair proportion of the total purchases and contracts or subcontracts for commodities, supplies, technology, property, and services for regulated public utilities, including, but not limited to, renewable energy, wireless telecommunications, broadband, smart grid, and rail projects, are awarded to women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the state.

(b) (1) The Legislature finds all of the following:

(A) The opportunity for full participation in our free enterprise system by women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises is essential if this state is to attain social and economic equality for those businesses and improve the functioning of the state economy.

(B) Public agencies and some regulated utilities that have established short- and long-range women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprise goals are awarding 30 percent or more of their contracts to these business enterprises.

(C) Women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises have traditionally received less than a proportionate share of regulated public utility procurement contracts, especially in renewable energy, wireless telecommunications, broadband, smart grid, and rail projects.

(D) It is in the state’s interest to expeditiously improve the economically disadvantaged position of women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises.

(E) The position of these businesses can be substantially improved by providing long-range substantial goals for procurement by regulated public utilities of technology, equipment, supplies, services, materials, and construction work, especially in renewable energy, wireless telecommunications, broadband, smart grid, and rail projects, from women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT businesses.

(F) That procurement also benefits the regulated public utilities and consumers of the state by encouraging the expansion of the number of suppliers for procurements, thereby encouraging competition among the suppliers and promoting economic efficiency in the process.

(G) That the long-term economic viability of this state depends substantially upon the ability of renewable energy, wireless telecommunications, broadband, smart grid, and rail projects to incorporate women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT businesses into those projects.

(2) It is the purpose of this article to do all of the following:

(A) Encourage greater economic opportunity for women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises.

(B) Promote competition among regulated public utility suppliers in order to enhance economic efficiency in the procurement of electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service provider, and telephone corporation contracts and contracts of their commission-regulated subsidiaries and affiliates.

(C) Clarify and expand the program for the procurement by regulated public utilities of technology, equipment, supplies, services, materials, and construction work from women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 633, Sec. 2. (AB 1678) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8282.
  

For the purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Control” means exercising the power to make policy decisions.

(b) “Disabled veteran business enterprise” has the same meaning as defined in Section 999 of the Military and Veterans Code.

(c) “LGBT business enterprise” means a business enterprise that is at least 51-percent owned by a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person or persons; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender persons; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.

(d) “Minority business enterprise” means a business enterprise that is at least 51-percent owned by a minority group or groups; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more minority groups, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals. The contracting utility shall presume that minority includes African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific Americans.

(e) To “operate” means to be actively involved in the day-to-day management. It is not enough to merely be an officer or director.

(f) “Renewable energy project” means a project for the development and operation of an eligible renewable energy resource meeting the requirements of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1).

(g) “Women business enterprise” means a business enterprise that is at least 51-percent owned by a woman or women; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 86, Sec. 271. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2017.)

8283.
  

(a) The commission shall require each electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service provider, and telephone corporation with gross annual revenues exceeding twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) and their commission-regulated subsidiaries and affiliates, to submit annually, a detailed and verifiable plan for increasing procurement from women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises in all categories, including, but not limited to, renewable energy, wireless telecommunications, broadband, smart grid, and rail projects.

(b) These annual plans shall include short- and long-term goals and timetables, but not quotas, and shall include methods for encouraging both prime contractors and grantees to engage women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises in subcontracts in all categories that provide subcontracting opportunities, including, but not limited to, renewable energy, wireless telecommunications, broadband, smart grid, and rail projects.

(c) The commission shall establish guidelines for all electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service providers, and telephone corporations with gross annual revenues exceeding twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) and their commission-regulated subsidiaries and affiliates, to be utilized in establishing programs pursuant to this article.

(d) Every electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service provider, and telephone corporation with gross annual revenues exceeding twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) shall furnish an annual report to the commission regarding the implementation of programs established pursuant to this article in a form that the commission shall require, and at the time that the commission shall annually designate. The report shall include the information about LGBT business enterprises beginning with the 2016 report.

(e) (1) The Legislature declares that each electrical, gas, water, mobile telephony service provider, and telephone corporation that is not required to submit a plan pursuant to subdivision (a) is encouraged to voluntarily adopt a plan for increasing women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprise procurement in all categories.

(2) The Legislature declares that each cable television corporation and direct broadcast satellite provider is encouraged to voluntarily adopt a plan for increasing women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprise procurement and to voluntarily report activity in this area to the Legislature on an annual basis.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 612, Sec. 70. (SB 697) Effective January 1, 2016.)

8284.
  

(a) (1) The commission shall, by rule or order, adopt criteria for verifying and determining the eligibility of women, minority, and LGBT business enterprises for procurement contracts.

(2) The commission shall adopt the Department of General Services’ disabled veteran business enterprise certification eligibility requirements for verifying and determining the eligibility of disabled veteran business enterprises for procurement contracts, and shall not deem eligible those disabled veteran business enterprises that are not certified by the Department of General Services.

(3) In initially adopting criteria for verifying and determining the eligibility of LGBT business enterprises for procurement contracts pursuant to paragraph (1), the commission shall adopt the LGBT status qualifiers created by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The commission may update these LGBT status qualifiers as appropriate.

(b) The commission shall develop, and require every electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service provider, and telephone corporation with gross annual revenues exceeding twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) and their commission-regulated subsidiaries and affiliates to implement, an outreach program to inform and recruit women, minority, disabled veteran, and LGBT business enterprises to apply for procurement contracts under this article.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 633, Sec. 5. (AB 1678) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8285.
  

(a) Any person or corporation, through its directors, officers, or agents, which falsely represents a business as a women, minority, or LGBT business enterprise in the procurement of, or the attempt to procure, contracts from an electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service provider, or telephone corporation with gross annual revenues exceeding twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000), or a commission-regulated subsidiary or affiliate subject to this article, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. In the case of a corporation, the fine or imprisonment, or both, shall be imposed on every director, officer, or agent responsible for the false statements.

(b) Any person or corporation, through its directors, officers, or agents, which falsely represents a business as a disabled veteran business enterprise in the procurement of, or the attempt to procure, contracts from an electrical, gas, water, wireless telecommunications service provider, or telephone corporation with gross annual revenues exceeding twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000), or a commission-regulated subsidiary or affiliate subject to this article, shall be punished according to the penalties established pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 999.9 of the Military and Veterans Code. In the case of a corporation, the fine or imprisonment, or both, shall be imposed on every director, officer, or agent responsible for the false statements.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 633, Sec. 6. (AB 1678) Effective January 1, 2015.)

8286.
  

(a) In order to facilitate the participation of women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, disabled veteran-owned businesses, and LGBT-owned businesses and small businesses in contract procurement, any corporation subject to this article may consider the following measures to include those businesses in all phases of their contracting:

(1) Timely or progressive payments to those businesses.

(2) An amendment of the performance bond requirements so that bond requirements of electrical, gas, and telephone corporations do not prohibitively burden those businesses from procuring the corporation’s business.

(3) The provision of assistance to those businesses by securing contract payments to those businesses with letters of credit, negotiable securities, or other financing arrangements or measures.

(b) This section does not restrict a corporation’s ability to require a bond.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 633, Sec. 7. (AB 1678) Effective January 1, 2015.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC5