HB 355 Modifies provisions relating to utilities

     Handler: Wallingford

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

SCS/HB 355 - This act modifies provisions relating to utilities.


Prior to putting a proposed water or wastewater system sale, or the sale of a gas plant, before the voters, this amendment allows the board of aldermen of a fourth class city to seek an appraisal of the system utilizing the appraisal process set forth in current law for the acquisition of small water utilities. The board may also seek and provide additional reasonable analyses to inform voters of such sale, including but not limited to, the impact of such sale on all city funds and revenue, other city services, and annexation.

The determination of a utility's fair market value shall not be dispositive of the price of the utility system, which may be subject to negotiation by the board.

The board may consider alternatives to disposing of the utility system by sale, including entering into a finance agreement, purchase agreement, management agreement, or lease agreement with another entity.

The board may make certain information related to the proposed sale of the utility system available on its internet site, if such site exists, at least 45 days prior to submitting a proposal for election. Such information may also be posted in the building where the board has its monthly meetings.

The board may make a good faith effort to notify each property owner of the city and each ratepayer of the proposal and additional information as set forth in the amendment.

Nothing in the amendment shall be construed as violating current law relating to the use of public funds to advocate, support, or oppose the ballot measure to dispose of the utility system.

These provisions are identical to HCS/HB 909 (2019) and similar to SCS/SB 383 (2019).


This act exempts any electrical cooperative, or any electrical corporation operating under a cooperative business plan, and any corporation organized on a nonprofit or a cooperative basis, from provisions relating to the right to practice as an architect, professional engineer, professional land surveyor, or professional landscape architect.

This provision is similar to SCS/SB 509 (2019) and SCS/HB 705 (2019).

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS (Sections 386.020 & 386.805): This act modifies the definition of "electrical corporation" to state that such term does not include the following:

• Municipally owned electric utilities;

• Rural electric cooperatives; and

• Persons or corporations not otherwise engaged in the production or sale of electricity at wholesale or retail that sell, lease, own, control, operate, or manage one or more electric vehicle charging stations.

For the purposes of certain sections of law relating to municipally owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives, when municipally owned electric utilities or rural electric cooperatives are lawfully providing electric service to a structure outside of their respective service area boundaries, an electric vehicle charging station reasonably proximate to such structure served by such municipally owned electric utility or rural electric cooperative shall be considered a contiguous or adjacent addition to or an expansion of an existing structure.

These provisions are similar to SCS/SB 296 (2019) and HCS/HB 287 (2019).


Currently, the Public Service Commission is required to have an independent technical advisory staff. This act states that the Commission may retain, rather than shall have, such technical advisory staff.

The act allows, rather than requires, each commissioner of the Public Service Commission to retain one personal advisor, who shall no longer be deemed a member of the technical advisory staff.

The Commission shall only establish technical advisory staff and personal advisor positions when there is an elimination of a comparable staff position such that the hiring is done on a cost-neutral basis.

The act also specifies that communications with technical advisory staff and personal advisors regarding deliberations by the Public Service Commission or matters that arise during the course of Commission proceedings are protected from disclosure. Any technical advisory staff member or personal advisor who previously worked for an entity regulated by or appearing before the Commission may not advise the Commission on cases in which the technical advisory staff member or personal advisor participated while employed by the entity.

Additionally, personal advisors shall never be a party to any cases before the Commission.

These provisions are identical to SB 379 (2019) and similar to HCS/HB 481 (2019).


Currently, an applicant may appeal a decision or order from the Public Service Commission by filing a notice of appeal with the Commission, which the Commission shall then forward to the appropriate appellate court. Under this act, an applicant may file a notice of appeal with the appellate court directly.

These provisions are identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed SS/SCS/HCS/HB 192 (2019), SCS/HB 1691 (2018), and SCS/HB 1800 (2018), and are substantially similar to HB 1080 (2017).


This act adds certain municipally owned or operated utilities to the definition of "electric supplier" for purposes of a statute governing the trimming, removing, and controlling of trees and other vegetation by electric suppliers.

These provisions are identical to SCS/HB 1025 (2019) and to provisions contained in HCS/SCS/SB 131 (219).


This act creates new provisions of law relating to criminal offenses involving critical infrastructure facilities, as such term is defined in the act.

A person commits the offense of trespass on a critical infrastructure facility if he or she purposely trespasses or enters property containing a critical infrastructure facility without permission. The offense of trespass on a critical infrastructure facility is a Class B misdemeanor. If it is determined that the intent of the trespasser is to damage, destroy, or tamper with equipment, or impede or inhibit operations of the facility, the person shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

A person commits the offense of damage of a critical infrastructure facility if he or she purposely damages, destroys, or tampers with equipment in a critical infrastructure facility. The offense of damage of a critical infrastructure facility is a Class D felony.

These provisions shall not apply to conduct protected under the Constitution of the United States or Missouri, as well as, conduct protected under state or federal law.

These provisions are identical to provisions in SS#3/SCS/HB 113 (2019) and similar to SCS/SB 293 (2019) and HCS/HB 954 (2019).


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