SB 848 Modifies various provisions pertaining to utilities, energy, and animal care
Sponsor: Barnitz
LR Number: 4632L.04C Fiscal Note: 4632-04N.ORG
Committee: Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources
Last Action: 5/14/2010 - S Calendar S Bills with H Amendments--SB 848-Barnitz, with HCS#2, as amended Journal Page:
Title: HCS#2 SB 848 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Varies
House Handler: Loehner

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Current Bill Summary


HCS#2/SB 848 - This act modifies provisions pertaining to energy and animals.

Section 262.005 - CITIZENS' RIGHT TO RAISE ANIMALS

This act declares that it is the right of citizens to raise domesticated animals in a humane manner without the state imposing an undue economic burden on animal owners. The determination as to whether animals are raised in a humane manner will be based on agricultural standards established by the University of Missouri and current industry standards.

This provision is similar to HJR 86 (2010) and HCS/HB 1747 (2010).

Section 267.810 - MISSOURI ANIMAL CARE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

This act establishes the Missouri Animal Care Advisory Committee. This committee consists of 19 members. The committee is required to review the animal care practices related to poultry, livestock, and licensed dog breeding facilities in this state, and make recommendations to the general assembly. The committee is required to review national species specific animal care guidelines once every five years. The Department of Agriculture is required to provide technical support and a meeting place for the committee.

This provision is similar to HB 2291 (2010).

SECTIONS 273.327 & 272.329 - ANIMAL LICENSE

Currently, animal shelters are exempt from paying a licensing fee to the Department of Agriculture. This act eliminates this exemption.

The Department of Agriculture is prohibited from hiring, contracting with, or otherwise using the services of the personnel of any non-profit organization for the purpose of inspecting or licensing shelters, pounds, kennels, breeders, and pet shops.

These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 2102 (2010).

SECTION 386.715 - OFFICE OF PUBLIC COUNSEL

Before the start of each new fiscal year, the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) must inform the Public Service Commission (PSC) of its estimated expenses for the succeeding year. The OPC must specify how much of its estimated expenses are directly attributable to its work with each type of PSC-regulated public utility (i.e., electric, gas, water, heating, telephone, telegraph, and sewer) as well as the amount of expenses that are not directly attributable to one specific type of utility. Costs for telephone companies may not exceed 10% of the total directly attributable costs. Costs not directly attributable to one specific type of utility must be proportionately attributed to each utility type based on each utility type's percentage of total gross intrastate operating revenues across all utilities.

The PSC must levy an assessment to each regulated public utility to cover its share of the OPC's costs. The total amount levied to all utilities must not exceed 200ths of 1% of the total gross intrastate operating revenues of all regulated utilities. The PSC must issue a statement of the assessment amount to each utility by July 1st of each year, which the utility may pay in full by July 15th or in 4 equal quarterly installments.

The payments are to be deposited in the Public Counsel Fund, created in the act, and may only be used to pay the expenses of the OPC. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year must be proportionately credited to the next year's assessments.

The act does not grant authority to the PSC to determine how the OPC estimates its expenses or how the OPC will spend the assessments collected from the utilities.

By March 31st of each year, each regulated utility must file a statement with the PSC of its gross intrastate operating revenues for the preceding calendar year.

This section is substantially similar to HB 2408 (2010).

SECTION 393.150 - RATE CASES BEFORE THE PSC

The act reduces the period of time, from 120 to 90 days, in which the PSC may suspend proposed new rates by a gas, electric, water, or sewer company while it holds a hearing to determine the appropriateness of the rates. The act also reduces the period of time, from 6 to 2 months, in which the PSC may extend the rate suspension time in order to complete the hearing.

The act prescribes dates by which rebuttal and surrebuttal testimony must be submitted to the PSC for a rate case. The PSC must issue its order no later than 20 days before the end of the suspension period or extended suspension period, and the order must go into effect within 10 days.

This section is similar to provisions in HCS/HB 2408 (2010).

SECTIONS 393.1025 and 393.1030 - RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD

The act adds two additional sources to the definition of "renewable energy resources:" methane generated from farm animal waste and the conversion of waste to energy through the processes of thermal depolymerization or pyrolysis. The act requires the Public Service Commission and the Department of Natural Resources to include these 2 sources for purposes of meeting the renewable energy portfolio requirement.

The act contains an emergency clause for sections 386.715 and 393.150 (Office of Public Counsel and rate cases before the PSC). ERIKA JAQUES

HA #1: THE AMENDMENT REMOVES SECTIONS 386.715 AND 393.150 FROM THE BILL, WHICH RELATE TO AN ASSESSMENT ON UTILITIES TO FUND THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC COUNSEL AND MODIFYING TIMELINES AND PROCEDURES FOR RATE CASES AT THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.

HA #2: THE AMENDMENT ADDS SECTION 1, WHICH CAPS DAMAGES AWARDED FOR NUISANCE SUITS ON AGRICULTURAL LAND. DAMAGES FOR PERMANENT NUISANCES ARE LIMITED TO THE REDUCTION IN FAIR MARKET VALUE OF THE CLAIMANT'S PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF THE NUISANCE, NOT TO EXCEED THE FAIR MARKET VALUE. DAMAGES FOR TEMPORARY NUISANCES ARE LIMITED TO THE REDUCTION OF FAIR RENTAL VALUE OF THE CLAIMANT'S PROPERTY. DAMAGES TO A PERSON FROM A NUISANCE ON FARMLAND MUST BE DETERMINED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE DETERMINATION OF DAMAGES TO PROPERTY FROM THE NUISANCE.

HA #4: THE AMENDMENT ADDS SECTION 311.297, WHICH ALLOWS ALCOHOL MAKERS TO PROVIDE PRODUCT TASTE SAMPLES TO CUSTOMERS ON PROPERLY LICENSED RETAIL PREMISES.