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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2014 12:55 PM
From: Representative Robert W. Godshall
To: All House members
Subject: Former HB 1365 (Title 53 Municipalities) Provide Greater Transparency over Municipal Authority Acquisitions.
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation to amend Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) to provide greater transparency over municipal authority acquisitions. This legislation was previously introduced as HB 1365 (2013-2014.)

Municipal authorities often buy, lease or otherwise acquire additional projects thereby expanding the scope of operations to reach a larger population. As an authority’s service territory increases, so does the possibility that proposed expansions may impact the rates or service of current rate payers.

Section 5613 of Title 53 addresses the transfer of private, municipal or school-district owned facilities to a municipal authority. Current law states that a municipal authority seeking to acquire additional facilities must only obtain approval from member municipalities to move forward with the purchase. While the decision to acquire additional facilities must be approved at a scheduled public meeting of the authority, current rate payers may not be aware of exactly how the purchase may affect their rates or service.

My bill requires municipal authorities to hold an advertised public meeting and clearly demonstrate the anticipated or projected benefit the acquisition would have for the current rate payers, including but not limited to, rate reduction, improved service quality, and increased service reliability. The bill would also require the anticipated benefits to be published in the record meeting minutes. By increasing the transparency of acquisition decisions, authorities will be held to a higher degree of public accountability.

Introduced as HB66