SB 720 Modifies provisions relating to utilities
Sponsor: Coleman
LR Number: 3054S.07T Fiscal Note: 3054-07
Committee: Commerce, Energy and the Environment
Last Action: 6/16/2008 - Signed by Acting Governor (Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder) Journal Page:
Title: CCS#2 HCS SCS SB 720 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2008
House Handler: Smith

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CCS#2/HCS/SCS/SB 720 - This act modifies various provisions relating to utilities.

SECTIONS 260.1050 - 260.1101 - COMPUTER EQUIPMENT RECOVERY

This act creates the Manufacturer Responsibility and Consumer Convenience Equipment Collection and Recovery Act.

The act requires manufacturers of computers to implement "recovery plans" for the collection of and the recycling or reuse of their obsolete equipment. The recovery plan must be implemented and a copy of the plan submitted to the Department of Natural Resources before the manufacturer can sell its computers in Missouri. Such manufacturers must also label their equipment to identify themselves as the manufacturer.

Requirements for the recovery plan and reporting by computer manufacturers are listed in the act. Retailers are prohibited from selling new computers in Missouri unless the equipment contains a manufacturer's label and the manufacturer is listed by the Department as having a recovery plan.

The Department shall educate consumers about the recycling and reuse of computers and shall provide a website for this purpose, which shall include a list of manufacturers' recovery plans as well as dates and locations for collection opportunities.

The act provides enforcement authority to the Department and the Attorney General, which includes the authority to assess penalties for manufacturers for certain violations not to exceed $10,000 for second violations, and not to exceed $25,000 for subsequent violations.

The Department shall promulgate rules by July 1, 2009 to implement this act and the act shall not be enforced until the Department's rules are promulgated. Retailers shall not be considered in violation of the act for selling computers acquired prior to August 28, 2008.

These provisions are similar to SCS/SB 895 (2008).

SECTION 393.108 - HOT WEATHER RULE

The act establishes a hot weather rule during the time period from June 1st to September 30th. During this time, natural gas or electricity providers are prohibited from disconnecting service to residential customers on days when either the temperature is expected to rise above 95 degrees or the heat index is expected to rise above 105 degrees for the following twenty-four hour period or on days when service personnel will not be available to reconnect service and the temperature or heat index is expected to rise above these marks.

This provision is similar to SB 11 (2007) and SB 955 (2006).

SECTION 393.171 - RETROACTIVE APPROVAL FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRIC PLANTS

The Public Service Commission (PSC) may approve the construction of an electric plant in a county of the first classification after any such electric plant has been constructed or acquired. No such approval, nor any locally-issued special use permit for such an electric plant, shall impair any private suits or claims for damages made against such an electric plant. The costs incurred by an electrical corporation to pay any such damages shall not be allowed to be recovered from ratepayers. The PSC's authority under this section expires August 28, 2009.

SECTION 393.1150 - CLAIMS AGAINST CERTAIN UNLAWFULLY CONSTRUCTED ELECTRIC PLANTS

For electric plants that are unlawfully constructed after August 28, 2008, the amount of damages awarded in any claim against the electric plant shall be 3 times the actual damages to the plaintiff's real estate plus court courts and attorney fees.

SECTIONS 660.115 - 660.135 - UTILICARE

The act increases the maximum amount, from $600 to $800 per year, that may be paid from the Utilicare Stabilization Fund to providers of heating or cooling on behalf of eligible households. The act removes the $5 million cap on the annual appropriation to the Utilicare Stabilization Fund, instead making it simply subject to appropriations each fiscal year. The act makes it mandatory, rather than discretionary, that the Department of Social Services apply a portion of the funds appropriated to the Utilicare Stabilization Fund to the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program.

This act is similar to HCS/HB 2279 (2008).

ERIKA JAQUES