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Relating to authorizing a regulatory authority to establish reduced
water and sewer utility rates funded by donations for the benefit of
certain low-income customers.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1506 would authorize a utility to establish reduced water and sewer rates for a minimal level of service to be provided to a class of customers who are 65 years or older, who receive medical assistance, or who receive SNAP benefits, to ensure that those customers receive that level of service at more affordable rates. The regulatory authority would also be allowed to establish requirements for determining eligibility of customers to receive reduced rates.
The regulatory authority shall allow a utility to establish a fund to receive donations to recover the costs of providing reduced rates. A utility is prohibited from recovering costs through charges to the utility's other customer classes.
The program provided for by this legislation is permissive rather than mandatory and would only be paid for by donations. For these reasons we see no connection to our liberty principles and remain neutral.