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2017 SESSION

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Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor

Chairman: Frank W. Wagner

Clerk: John Garrett, Alex Elwood
Staff: Frank Munyan
Date of Meeting: January 30, 2017
Time and Place: 45 minutes after Adjournment Senate Room B
Updated to include SB 1542 and remove SB 1425 Time change

S.B. 800 Direct primary care agreements; Commonwealth's insurance laws do not apply.

Patron: Stanley

Direct primary care agreements. Provides that the Commonwealth's insurance laws do not apply to direct primary care agreements. The measure further provides that (i) a direct primary care practice is not subject to the jurisdiction of the State Corporation Commission (SCC)and is not required to obtain a certificate of authority or license to market, sell, or offer to sell a direct primary care agreement; (ii) entering into a direct primary care agreement shall not be considered to be engaging in the business of insurance; and (iii) a direct primary care agreement is not a contract of insurance and is not subject to regulation by the SCC. The bill defines a direct primary care agreement as an agreement entered into between a health care practice and a direct primary care patient under which the practice is authorized to charge a periodic fee as consideration for providing ongoing primary care to the patient, subject to certain conditions. A direct primary care practice is prohibited from submitting a claim to an insurer with respect to services provided to direct primary care patients covered by their direct primary care agreement, unless the services are outside of the patient's direct primary care agreement.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Title 38.2 a chapter numbered 64, consisting of sections numbered 38.2-6400 through 38.2-6403, relating to direct primary care agreements.

17100678D

S.B. 813 Electric utility regulation; solar generation facilities.

Patron: Marsden

Electric utility regulation; solar generation facilities. Exempts investor-owned electric utilities from the requirement that in a proceeding for approval to construct a generating facility they demonstrate that they have considered and weighed alternative options, including third-party market alternatives, in their selection process, if the proposed generating facility is located in the Commonwealth, uses energy derived from sunlight, and has been declared by statute to be in the public interest. The measure also directs that (i) any cost incurred or projected to be incurred by a utility in connection with such a generation facility is reasonable and prudent if the costs of the generation facility do not exceed by more than 10 percent the cost that would be incurred in the construction and operation of a combined-cycle combustion turbine generation facility with the same capacity and (ii) any increase in rates paid by customers as a result of the construction and operation of such a generation facility is reasonable if the projected increase in rates resulting from the construction and operation of such facility does not exceed by more than two percent the projected increase in rates that would occur if the utility constructed and operated a combined-cycle combustion turbine generation facility with the same capacity.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utility regulation; solar generation facilities.

17100749D

S.B. 839 Virginia Consumer Protection Act; roofing-related services.

Patron: Sturtevant

Virginia Consumer Protection Act; roofing-related services. Provides that it is a prohibited practice under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act for a supplier to promise to pay or rebate all or any portion of the deductible payable under a consumer's homeowners insurance policy as an inducement to the sale of roofing-related services. The measure also provides that a consumer shall have the right to rescind a contract for roofing-related services within three business days after being notified that all or any part of the consumer's claim for damage involving roofing-related services is not covered under the consumer's homeowners insurance policy. "Roofing-related services" includes the construction, installation, renovation, repair, maintenance, alteration, or waterproofing of a roof, gutter, downspout, or siding. "Promising to pay or rebate" includes (i) granting any allowance or offering any discount, including an allowance or discount in return for displaying a sign or other advertisement at the insured consumer's premises, against the fees to be charged or (ii) paying the insured consumer or any person associated with the property any form of compensation, gift, prize, bonus, coupon, credit, referral fee, or other item of monetary value for any reason pursuant to any agreement or understanding.

A BILL to amend and reenact 59.1-200 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Consumer Protection Act; prohibited practices; payment or rebate of insurance deductible as an inducement to the sale of roofing-related services.

17101037D

S.B. 917 Electric utility regulation; agricultural net energy metering.

Patron: Edwards

Electric utility regulation; agricultural net energy metering. Allows an otherwise eligible agricultural customer-generator to participate in an electric utility's net energy metering program if it is to be served by multiple meters located on one parcel or on multiple parcels. Currently, an agricultural customer-generator may be served by multiple meters that are located at separate but contiguous sites. The measure increases the generation capacity limit for agricultural net metering from 500 kilowatts to one megawatt and adds falling water as a type of generating facility that may be used in agricultural net metering.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-594 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utility regulation; agricultural net energy metering.

17101691D

S.B. 918 Renewable energy; third-party power purchase agreements.

Patron: Edwards

Renewable energy; third-party power purchase agreements. Replaces the pilot program enacted in 2013 that authorized certain third-party power purchase agreements providing financing of certain renewable generation facilities. The measure requires the State Corporation Commission to establish third-party power purchase agreement programs for each electric utility. The existing pilot program applies only to Dominion Virginia Power and sets the maximum size of a renewable generation facility at one megawatt; the programs authorized by this measure apply to all electric utilities and do not set limits on the size of facilities. The measure also exempts sellers under third-party power purchase agreements from being defined as a public utility, public service corporation, public service company, or electric utility solely because of the sale of electricity or ownership or operation of a renewable generation facility.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-1.2 of the Code of Virginia; to amend the Code of Virginia by adding sections numbered 56-1.2:2, 56-232.2:2, and 56-594.2; and to repeal Chapters 358 and 382 of the Acts of Assembly of 2013, relating to the regulation of retail sales of electricity under third-party sales agreements.

17101717D

S.B. 993 Lease agreements; late charge.

Patron: Stanley

Lease agreements; late charge. Caps the amount of the late charge that a lessor may impose for the failure of the lessee to make timely payment of any periodic rent due under a lease of real property in the Commonwealth at five percent of the amount of the periodic rent due under the lease. The measure requires the late charge to be specified in the lease or rental agreement. A payment is timely if it is made within seven calendar days of the due date.

A BILL to amend and reenact 6.2-400 and 55-248.7 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the amount of late charges that may be imposed under a lease.

17103460D

S.B. 1014 Water public utilities; rate increases.

Patron: Ebbin

Water public utilities; rate increases. Prohibits the State Corporation Commission from authorizing a water public utility, including a small water utility, from increasing its approved rates, fees, or charges through the use of a surcharge for non-revenue-generating infrastructure replacement or a similar surcharge pursuant to which the utility utilizes an automatic rate adjustment feature to increase its rates, fees, or charges. The measure further provides that the rates, fees, and charges that the Commission has approved for a utility to charge its customers shall not be authorized to increase above the amounts specified in an order of the Commission unless the Commission specifically increases such amounts in an order entered by the Commission.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-265.13:4 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-262.1, relating to water public utilities; rate increases.

17102150D

S.B. 1110 Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line.

Patron: Stanley

Utility Facilities Act; associated facilities of an electrical transmission line. Provides that the issuance by the State Corporation Commission of a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of an electrical transmission line of 138 kilovolts and any associated facilities shall be deemed to satisfy local comprehensive plan requirements and all local zoning ordinances with respect to the transmission line and associated facilities. The measure defines "associated facilities" as including any station, substation, transition station, and switchyard facilities to be constructed in association with the 138 kilovolt transmission line.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-265.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to State Corporation Commission approval of utility facilities.

17102098D

S.B. 1119 Workers' compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases.

Patron: McPike

Workers' compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases. Substitutes colorectal cancer, which is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum, for rectal cancer on the list of cancers that are presumed to be an occupational disease covered by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act when certain employees develop the cancer after contact with a known or suspected carcinogen that causes, or is suspected to cause, the specific type of cancer.

A BILL to amend and reenact 65.2-402 of the Code of Virginia, relating to workers' compensation; presumption of compensability for certain diseases; colorectal cancer.

17102240D

S.B. 1120 Workers' compensation; volunteer firemen and emergency medical services personnel.

Patron: McPike

Workers' compensation; volunteer firemen and emergency medical services personnel. Provides that for the purposes of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act volunteer firemen and emergency medical services personnel shall be deemed employees of the political subdivision or state institution of higher education in which the principal office of the volunteer fire company or volunteer emergency medical services agency is located. The measure repeals the existing provision that volunteer firemen and emergency medical services personnel shall be deemed the employees of the political subdivision or state institution of higher education if its governing body has adopted a resolution acknowledging those persons as employees. The measure also repeals the provision that volunteer firemen and emergency medical services personnel shall be deemed the employees of the volunteer fire company or volunteer emergency medical services agency if the company or agency elects to be included and maintains coverage as an employer under the Act.

A BILL to amend and reenact 65.2-101 and 65.2-102 of the Code of Virginia, relating to workers' compensation; coverage for volunteer firemen and emergency medical services personnel.

17102241D

S.B. 1166 Insurance; preauthorization for abuse-deterrent opioids.

Patron: Reeves

Insurance; preauthorization for abuse abuse-deterrent opioids. Requires any health carrier offering a health benefit plan that covers prescription drugs and applies a formulary to such coverage to offer in its formulary at least two classes of abuse-deterrent opioids as a tier 1 option that does not require the prescribing provider to utilize a preauthorization process.

A BILL to amend and reenact 38.2-4319 and 38.2-4509 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 38.2-3407.14:1, relating to accident and sickness insurance; prescription drug formularies; abuse-deterrent opioids.

17102495D

S.B. 1197 Small renewable energy projects; State Corporation Commission to review construction, etc.

Patron: Deeds

Small renewable energy projects; State Corporation Commission jurisdiction. Restores the requirement for State Corporation Commission (SCC) review of the construction and operation of certain small renewable energy projects. In 2009, the General Assembly removed the requirement that the owner or operator of a small renewable energy project, defined as (i) an electrical generation facility with a rated capacity not exceeding 100 megawatts that generates electricity only from sunlight, wind, falling water, wave motion, tides, or geothermal power or (ii) an electrical generation facility with a rated capacity not exceeding 20 megawatts that generates electricity only from biomass or certain waste, obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity approval for the project from the SCC. This measure restores the requirement for those small renewable energy projects that either will disturb an area of 100 acres or more or are located within five miles of a boundary between the political subdivision in which such project is located and another locality.

A BILL to amend and reenact 10.1-1197.8, 56-46.1, and 56-580 of the Code of Virginia, relating to State Corporation Commission; approval process for certain small renewable energy projects.

17101447D

S.B. 1208 Electric utilities; community renewable projects.

Patron: Wexton

Electric utilities; community renewable projects. Requires the State Corporation Commission to adopt rules under which community renewable projects are authorized to operate. A community renewable project is solar or wind-powered electric generation facility with a capacity of not more than 20 megawatts that is operated subject to requirements that the electricity generated by the facility belongs to the project's subscribers. The facility may be owned either by the investor-owned electric utility or distribution cooperative in whose service territory the facility is located or a for-profit or nonprofit entity, which may be an entity entirely owned by or consisting of subscribers, that contracts to sell the electricity generated by the facility to the retail utility. The measure provides that neither the owner of a project nor its subscribers are public utilities and that prices paid for subscriptions in projects shall not be subject to regulation by the Commission. The measure also requires the retail utility to purchase all of the electricity generated by the project and that the purchase of the electricity by the utility shall take the form of a credit against the utility's electric bill to each of the project's subscribers. Finally, the measure requires the Commission to formulate and implement policies that simultaneously encourage the ownership by customers of subscriptions in projects and of other forms of distributed generation to the extent the Commission finds there to be demand for such ownership; the development of projects with attributes that the Commission finds result in lower overall total costs for the retail utility's customers; and successful financing and operation of subscriber-owned projects.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-585.1:3, relating to electric utilities; community renewable projects.

17102606D

S.B. 1264 Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act; telephone solicitation calls.

Patron: Black

Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act. Provides that a seller may be held liable for violations of the Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act that are committed by a third-party telemarketer under common law principles of agency when the third-party telemarketer initiates telephone solicitation calls on behalf of or for the benefit of the seller. The measure defines "seller" as any entity that benefits from the sale of property or services marketed by a telephone solicitation call, including an entity that engages in the marketing or selling of names or data containing the identity of potential customers or sales leads. The measure also provides that a telephone solicitation call includes a telephone call made to a cellular phone registered to any natural person who is a resident of the Commonwealth if the purpose of the telephone call is the offering or advertising of any goods or services for sale, lease, license, or investment, including the offering or advertising of an extension of credit.

A BILL to amend and reenact 59.1-510 and 59.1-514 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act; telephone solicitation calls.

17101789D

S.B. 1282 Wireless communications infrastructure; procedure for approved by localities.

Patron: McDougle

Wireless communications infrastructure. Provides a uniform procedure for the way in which wireless communications infrastructure is approved by localities and approved and installed in public rights-of-way.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 22 of Title 15.2 an article numbered 7.2, consisting of sections numbered 15.2-2316.3 through 15.2-2316.7, and by adding in Title 56 a chapter numbered 15.1, consisting of sections numbered 56-484.26 through 56-484.32, relating to wireless communications infrastructure.

17103885D

S.B. 1326 Medicare; supplement policies for individuals under age 65.

Patron: Carrico

Medicare supplement policies for individuals under age 65. Requires insurers issuing Medicare supplement policies in the Commonwealth to offer the opportunity of enrolling in a Medicare supplement policy to any individual who resides in the Commonwealth, is enrolled in Medicare Part B, and is eligible for Medicare by reason of disability not to include individuals with end-stage renal disease. The provisions of the measure are applicable to health plans and health maintenance organizations.

A BILL to amend and reenact 38.2-4214 and 38.2-4319 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 36 of Title 38.2 a section numbered 38.2-3610, relating to Medicare supplement policies for individuals under age 65.

17102781D

S.B. 1388 Electric utilities; margin on solar energy power purchase agreements.

Patron: Wagner

Electric utilities; margin on solar energy power purchase agreements. Authorizes any investor-owned incumbent electric utility to enter into, recover the costs of, and earn a margin on power purchase agreements that (i) are executed between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, and (ii) are for power generated by solar energy systems located in the Commonwealth and not constructed, owned, or operated by the utility (a) each of which systems has a capacity equal to or greater than two megawatts and (b) which systems in the aggregate have a capacity that is not more than one percent of the utility's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year. The costs and margin are recoverable through the utility's fuel factor proceeding. The measure provides that such agreements are in the public interest and that in reviewing the costs and the level of costs to be recovered, the State Corporation Commission shall liberally construe the provisions of this measure and shall presume that the costs associated with such agreements are reasonably and prudently incurred.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-581.2, relating to electric utility regulation; earning a return under certain power purchase agreements.

17102584D

S.B. 1393 Electric utilities; community solar pilot programs.

Patron: Wagner


Electric utilities; community solar pilot programs. Requires Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power to conduct a community solar pilot program for retail customers. A pilot program will authorize the participating utility to sell electric power to subscribing customers under a voluntary companion rate schedule, and the utility will generate or purchase the electric power from eligible generation facilities selected for inclusion in the pilot program. An eligible generation facility is an electrical generation facility that (i) exclusively uses energy derived from sunlight; (ii) is placed in service on or after July 1, 2017; (iii) is not constructed by an investor-owned utility but is acquired by an investor-owned utility through an asset purchase agreement or is subject to a power purchase agreement under which the utility purchases the facility's output from a third party; and (iv) has a generating capacity not exceeding two megawatts, subject to an exception. Pilot programs will have a three-year duration unless renewed or made permanent. The measure requires an investor-owned utility to select eligible generating facilities for dedication to its pilot program through a request for proposal (RFP) process. The minimum generating capacity of the eligible generating facilities in Appalachian Power's pilot program shall not be less than four MW and in Dominion's pilot program shall not be less than 25 MW. The maximum generating capacity of the eligible generating facilities in Appalachian Power's pilot program shall not be more than 10 MW and in Dominion's pilot program shall not be more than 40 MW. The measure establishes a procedure through which an investor-owned utility may increase the generating capacity of facilities in its pilot program above the amount most recently approved by the State Corporation Commission. The measure authorizes an investor-owned utility to recover pilot program costs that are not recovered through the voluntary companion rate schedule through the utility's annual fuel factor proceeding or rate adjustment clause proceeding. A subscribing customer's usage above the amount subscribed for the voluntary companion rate schedule shall be billed under the customer's applicable standard rate. The measure authorizes a utility consumer services cooperative to conduct a pilot program and gives the cooperative flexibility in designing its program and voluntary companion rate schedule. The measure declares that the participation of retail customers in a pilot program is in the public interest and that the voluntary companion rate schedules approved are necessary in order to acquire information which is in furtherance of the public interest. The measure requires the Commission to approve the recovery of pilot program costs that it deems to be reasonable and prudent, the pilot program design, the voluntary companion rate schedule, and the portfolio of participating generating facilities. Commission review or approval is not required for individual participating generating facilities, agreements, sites, or RFPs. The measure provides that an approved voluntary companion rate schedule shall not be considered a tariff for electric energy provided 100 percent from renewable energy. Finally, an enactment clause directs investor-owned utilities, prior to submitting a proposal for a pilot program, to examine, in cooperation with representatives of relevant governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit entities, options to facilitate the subscribing by low-income customers to the utility's pilot program.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-585.1:3, relating to electric utility regulation; pilot programs for community solar development.

17102602D

S.B. 1394 Small agricultural generators; establishes parameters of a program.

Patron: Wagner


Small agricultural generators. Establishes the parameters of a program under which small agricultural generators may sell the electricity generated from a small agricultural generating facility to its utility. The program will end enrollment by eligible agricultural customer-generators in the existing net energy metering program effective July 1, 2018, while allowing eligible agricultural customer-generators to remain in the net metering program for not more than 20 years. A small agricultural generator is defined in this measure as a customer who operates an electrical generating facility as part of an agricultural business, which generating facility, among other conditions, has a capacity of not more than 1.5 megawatts, uses renewable energy as its total source of fuel, has a capacity that does not exceed 150 percent of the customer's expected annual energy consumption based on the previous 12 months of billing history, and is a qualifying small power production facility. The program for small agricultural generators requires the generator to enter into a power purchase agreement with its supplier to sell all of the electricity generated at a rate not less than the supplier's State Corporation Commission-approved avoided cost tariff for energy and capacity. The program also provides for utilities to recover distribution service costs and costs incurred to purchase electricity, capacity, and renewable energy certificates from the small agricultural generator through its Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) rate adjustment clause if the utility has a Commission-approved RPS plan and rate adjustment clause or, if the utility does not have a Commission-approved RPS rate adjustment clause, then the costs shall be recoverable through the supplier's fuel adjustment clause or through the utility's cost of purchased power. Finally, the measure directs the Commission to conduct a single docketed proceeding to implement the provisions of this measure.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-594 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-594.2, relating to small agricultural generators; sale of electric power; net metering.

17102605D

S.B. 1418 Electric utilities; costs of pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities.

Patron: Chafin

Electric utilities; costs of pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities. Authorizes an investor-owned electric utility to petition the State Corporation Commission for approval of a rate adjustment clause for recovery of the costs of one or more pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities that utilize renewable energy as all or a portion of their power source and are located in the coalfield region of the Commonwealth. The measure provides that the requirement that a utility demonstrate that it has considered and weighed alternative options, including third-party market alternatives, in its selection process does not apply to these generation and storage facilities. The construction of these generation and storage facilities is declared to be in the public interest, and in determining whether to approve such facility, the Commission is directed to liberally construe the provisions of Title 56.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utility regulation; pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities.

17103515D

S.B. 1423 Electric utilities; viewshed mitigation payments.

Patron: Wagner

Electric utilities; viewshed mitigation payments. Requires that any viewshed mitigation payment made by an electric utility be used by the recipient only to implement renewable energy projects, to conduct energy-related research and development programs or projects, or both.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-591.1, relating to electric utilities; use of viewshed mitigation payments.

17103288D

S.B. 1446 Insurance agent licensing; motor vehicle rental contract enrollers, etc.

Patron: Chafin

Insurance agent licensing; motor vehicle rental contract enrollers and motor vehicle rental contract insurance agents. Excludes motor vehicle rental contract enrollers from the licensing requirements applicable to insurance agents. The measure also provides that "motor vehicle rental contract enroller" includes an authorized representative of a motor vehicle rental company. The measure qualifies the condition that motor vehicle rental contract enrollers not receive a direct or indirect commission from the insurer, the renter, or the vehicle rental company to instances where the commission is based solely on the sale of insurance coverages permitted to be offered by a motor vehicle rental contract insurance agent. Finally, the measure changes the definition of "motor vehicle rental contract insurance agent" to mean the designee of a motor vehicle rental company who is licensed as an agent to solicit, negotiate, procure, or effect certain insurance coverages.

A BILL to amend and reenact 38.2-1800 and 38.2-1822 of the Code of Virginia, relating to insurance agent licensing; motor vehicle rental contract enrollers; motor vehicle rental contract insurance agents.

17104097D

S.B. 1457 Utility vegetation management activities; notices to property owners required, civil penalties.

Patron: Black

Utility vegetation management activities; civil penalties. Requires utilities to give notice by first-class mail of planned vegetation management activities to customers, landowners, and local governments. The notice, which is required to be sent not less than 10 days before the activities commence, shall include a map of the site or parcels where activities are proposed and a description of the procedures by which the person to whom the notice is mailed may appeal the conduct of the planned vegetation management activities. The State Corporation Commission (SCC) shall require utilities to establish reasonable criteria for the conduct of vegetation management activities, which shall be consistent with guidelines to be adopted by the SCC that establish standards for the conduct of vegetation management activities. Vegetation management activities by any utility shall not alter, trespass upon, or limit the rights of any property owner. The measure requires the SCC, upon receipt of a written complaint, to investigate the situation. The measure also authorizes the SCC to impose a civil penalty against a utility that violates these requirements. One-half of the civil penalties collected by the SCC are to be paid to the owner of the property damaged by the violation that gave rise to the assessment of the civil penalty, and the other one-half is to be deposited in a special fund created by this bill and used for administration and enforcement activities.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 5 of Chapter 10 of Title 56 a section numbered 56-260.2, relating to vegetation management by public service corporations; notices required; civil penalties; special fund established.

17103785D

S.B. 1473 Electric utilities; recovery of costs of undergrounding distribution lines.

Patron: Saslaw

Electric utilities; undergrounding distribution lines. Declares that the replacement of any subset of an investor-owned electric utility's existing overhead distribution tap lines that have, in the aggregate, a history of nine or more total unplanned outage events-per-mile over a preceding 10-year period with new underground facilities in order to improve electric service reliability is in the public interest. The measure also directs the State Corporation Commission, in a cost-recovery proceeding, to presume that (i) the conversion of such facilities will provide local and system-wide benefits, (ii) the new underground facilities are cost beneficial, and (iii) the costs associated with the new underground facilities are reasonably and prudently incurred. An enactment clause provides that the measure shall apply to any applications pending with the Commission regarding new underground facilities on or after January 1, 2017.

A BILL to amend and reenact 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utility regulation; recovery of costs of undergrounding distribution lines.

17103391D

S.B. 1492 Water utilities; retail supply choice.

Patron: Stuart

Water utilities; retail supply choice. Establishes a procedure under which investor-owned water utilities operating in Virginia may be required to prepare and implement plans to provide retail supply choice to all their customers. The governing body of a locality may petition the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to institute a proceeding to determine whether the rates charged by the water utility to its customers impose an undue hardship on the customers. Rates shall be deemed to impose an undue hardship on customers if the volumetric rates charged to the majority of the water utility's customers have increased by over 100 percent in the five calendar years preceding the filing of the petition. If a water utility fails or refuses to file an acceptable plan for implementation of retail supply choice, the governing body of the locality may proceed against the incumbent water utility by a writ of quo warranto. The bill also establishes a private right of action for individuals harmed by competitive water suppliers' deceptive or unfair practices in providing or marketing water service. A competitive water supplier may be either a private entity licensed by the SCC or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth that is authorized to provide water utility service within the locality in which an incumbent water utility's certificated service territory is located.

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-235.11, relating to water utilities; retail supply choice.

17103650D

S.B. 1542 Occupational health and safety laws; increases maximum amount of civil penalties.

Patron: Saslaw

Occupational health and safety laws; amount of civil penalties. Increases the maximum amount of civil penalties that may be assessed by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry (Commissioner) for certain violations of occupational safety and health laws from $7,000 to $12,471 and for willful or repeated violations of such laws from $70,000 to $124,709. The measure also requires the Commissioner annually to increase the maximum civil penalty amounts, starting in 2018, by an amount that reflects the percentage increase, if any, in the consumer price index from the previous calendar year.

A BILL to amend and reenact 40.1-49.4 of the Code of Virginia, relating to enforcement of occupational safety and health laws; civil penalties.

17101266D