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Bill Detail: HB19-1037

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Title Colorado Energy Impact Assistance Act
Status House Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments (02/19/2019)
Bill Subjects
  • Business & Economic Development
  • Energy
House Sponsors D. Esgar (D)
C. Hansen (D)
Senate Sponsors K. Donovan (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee
Date Introduced 01/04/2019
Description

The bill, known as the Colorado Energy Impact Assistance Act,

authorizes any electric utility (utility) to apply to the public utilities
commission (PUC) for a financing order that will authorize the utility to
issue low-cost Colorado energy impact assistance bonds (bonds) to lower
the cost to electric utility customers (ratepayers) when the retirement of
a power plant occurs. A portion of bond proceeds will provide transition
assistance for Colorado workers and communities directly affected by the
retirement of the facilities (transition assistance). To repay the bonds at
the lowest cost to ratepayers, the PUC is authorized to review and
approve a financing order and authorize a special energy impact
assistance charge that is separate and apart from the utility's base rates on
all ratepayer bills. The establishment and ongoing adjustment of the
separate charge will allow bonds to achieve the highest possible credit
rating, at least AA/Aa2, from the national independent credit rating
agencies and will therefore allow bonds to be issued at the lowest
possible interest rate and lowest subsequent cost to ratepayers.
Before issuing a financing order, the PUC must hold a public
hearing, receive testimony from affected groups, and make specified
determinations concerning the necessity, prudence, justness,
reasonableness, and quantifiable benefits to utility ratepayers of issuing
the financing order. After the public hearing process, if a financing order
is approved by the PUC, it must include specific information and
instructions for the utility to which it applies relating to the amount of
bonds to be issued and the imposition of the energy impact assistance
charge and must require the utility to pay a specified percentage of the net
present value of the savings to a newly created Colorado energy impact
assistance authority (authority) for the payment of transition assistance by
the authority and the authority's reasonable and necessary administrative
and operating costs. As an alternative to the financing order and bond
issuance process, upon the closure of an electric generating facility, a
Colorado electric utility may transfer to the authority an amount of up to
15% of the net present value of operational savings created by the closure
of the electric generating facility, and such a transfer shall be deemed by
the PUC to be a prudent action by the utility.
The bill specifies that the authority is governed by a 7-member
board of directors appointed by the governor and specifies mandatory and
suggested occupational experience for the directors. The authority is
authorized to receive bond proceeds from a utility to which a financing
order applies and use the bond proceeds to provide transition assistance
and pay its reasonable and necessary administrative and operating costs.
Transition assistance is defined to include payment of retraining
costs, including costs of apprenticeship programs and skilled worker
retraining programs, for and financial assistance to directly displaced
Colorado facility workers, compensation to Colorado local governments
for lost property tax revenue directly resulting from the retirement of a
facility, and similar payments, job retraining, assistance, and
compensation for directly displaced Colorado workers and local
governments in areas that produce fuel used in the retired facility directly
resulting from the elimination of the need for fuel at the facility. The
authority must disburse at least 50% of the transition assistance that it
provides directly to Colorado workers. In addition, when determining
how best to provide transition assistance to a local community, the
authority must, in conjunction with each board of county commissioners,
municipal governing body, and school district that includes all or a
portion of the impacted community, establish and take into consideration
the advice of a local advisory committee. The authority is subject to open
meeting and open records requirements and is required to submit a report
to specified committees of the general assembly that sets forth a complete
and detailed financial and operating statement of the authority for any
fiscal year for which the authority has provided transition assistance.

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Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (02/04/2019) (most recent)  
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