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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 16, 2020 12:43 PM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence
To: All House members
Subject: COSPONSOR MEMO - Ratepayer Referendum Prior to Sale of a Public Utility
Colleagues –
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to require ratepayer approval prior to the sale a publicly managed utility in the Commonwealth.
Under my proposal, a publicly managed utility contemplating selling itself would be required to mail a ballot to each ratepayer of the utility asking “Do you approve the sale of (selling utility name) to (acquiring entity) for the sum of (the proposed sale price)?”  Ratepayers would have a minimum of 30 days to vote via US mail or through a secure internet website.  In addition to mailing a ballot to each ratepayer, a selling utility would be required to publish notification of the referendum in a newspaper of major circulation in any affected municipality. 
If a majority of ratepayers vote against the proposed sale via referendum, then the Public Utility Commission would be required to disapprove the sale. 
Other states, including neighboring New Jersey, require voter input prior to the sale of a publicly managed utility. 
I have reserved House Bill 2597 for this legislation, and it will be introduced shortly.  I welcome your support and cosponsorship of this proposal. 

Introduced as HB2597