Energy News

19
February

Second Half of 2018 Legislative Session Underway

  The second half of the legislative session is underway and it comes with the announcement of the retirement of one of the stalwarts of Indiana politics. Senator David Long (R-Fort Wayne), Senate President since 2007, plans to retire in November after 22 years of service as a state senator. In all, His public service spans over 30 years. 

  The last weeks of session will likely go by in a flash. With four more weeks left in the legislative session, there are multiple issues still left to be considered.

Utility Specific Legislation:

  • House Bill 1050, authored by Representative Dave Ober (R-Albion), specifies in greater detail where small cell wireless structures for communication service providers may be placed on utility structures. The legislation aims to remedy issues created from Senate Enrolled Act 213, passed last year, which unnecessarily burdened local communities and other utilities.  HB 1050 passed the Senate Committee on Commerce and Technology yesterday by a vote of 9-1. HB 1050 will now be considered by the entire Senate for potential amendments and a vote.

  • Senate Bill 125, authored by Senator Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), requires an underground utility excavation contractor to file with the Indiana Secretary of State that they will comply with Indiana’s 811 statute that regulates underground digging. SB 125 also gives the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission the authority to inform the Attorney General if any contractors break the 811 statutes while conducting their business. SB 125 passed the entire Senate and will...

5
February

Indiana Legislature Nears the Second Half of Session

  The week of February 4th marks the halfway point of the 2018 legislative session and legislators will work Monday and Tuesday before having a few days off leading up to the second half of session. When they return to Indianapolis the following week, they'll only have five weeks left to finish the state's business. 

  All legislation that may be eligible for passage during the second half of session must pass either the entire House of Representatives or the entire Senate the week before the break. Here are some of the issues that are still alive and will be eligible for passage during the second half of session:

Utility Specific Legislation:

Senate Bill 362, authored by Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), would put in place conforming regulations and requirements for water and wastewater utilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. SB 362 establishes industry standards for the management and operation of water and wastewater utilities aimed at increasing the level of service provided to customers and communities. SB 362 passed the Senate and now moves to House of Representatives for further consideration. 

House Bill 1267, authored by Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), would create a water infrastructure taskforce that would study drinking water systems, wastewater management systems and storm water management systems and develop a long-term plan for addressing the water needs of Indiana. HB 1267 passed the House of Representatives and will now be considered by the Senate.

Senate Bill 361, authored by Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), is similar to HB 1267 and would also create a water infrastructure taskforce. SB 361 passed the Senate and will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

House Bill 1050,...

25
January

State House Update 1/19/2018

  While the temperature outside continues to drop, the action is heating up in the Indiana State House as the Indiana General Assembly continues to work on the current issues facing the state. 

  Although only three weeks into the 2018 session, we’re nearly a third of the way through, as this year is a non-budget year which requires the General Assembly to finish their work by March 14th.

Utility Industry Specific Bills:

  Both the House and Senate committees that consider utility industry specific bills have met once so far this year.

  The House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee met on Wednesday hearing six bills, but won’t vote on any of the bills until they meet next week. One bill of note is House Bill 1267, authored by Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso). HB 1267 would create a water infrastructure taskforce that would study drinking water systems, wastewater management systems and storm water management systems and develop a long-term plan for addressing the water needs of Indiana.

  The Senate Utilities Committee convened yesterday hearing three bills, however they only voted on one of them. Senate Bill 156, authored by Senator Erin Houchin (R-Salem), passed the committee 7-0. SB 156 aims to update and streamline governance procedures for rural electric and rural telephone cooperatives.

Miscellaneous Bills of Note Being Considered:

Sunday Alcohol Sales and Cold Beer Laws:

  House and Senate committees considered legislation that would impact how and when Hoosiers can purchase alcohol.

  A measure to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays passed the Senate Public Policy Committee by a unanimous vote and will now be considered by the entire Senate for passage. A similar bill in the House Public Policy Committee also passed and will be considered by the full House...

Pages