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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 24, 2020 05:34 PM
From: Senator Thomas H. Killion
To: All Senate members
Subject: Ratepayer Referendum Prior to Sale of a Public Utility
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would require ratepayer approval prior to the sale of 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 U.S. 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 (PUC) 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.
This legislation would be similar to House Bill 2597 (Lawrence) which was introduced and referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee on July 1, 2020.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. 

Introduced as SB1351