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|[ Engrossed ]||[ Senate Amendment 001 ]|
90_SJ0031 SRS90SJ0006JJsa 1 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 2 WHEREAS, the Illinois General Assembly recognizes that 3 the health, welfare and prosperity of all citizens of 4 Illinois require the provision of adequate, efficient, 5 reliable, environmentally safe, and economic public utility 6 services at prices that both accurately reflect the cost of 7 services and are equitable to all citizens; and 8 WHEREAS, natural gas has traditionally been provided by 9 regulated public utilities and municipalities with defined 10 service territories; and 11 WHEREAS, utilities in Illinois and elsewhere are 12 currently positioning themselves to access open markets and 13 advocates of open access envision that many suppliers will 14 compete to provide a variety of energy services, including 15 the supply of both natural gas and electricity; and 16 WHEREAS, rates for gas service charged by regulated gas 17 utilities historically have been established by regulatory 18 agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 19 and the Illinois Commerce Commission, on the basis of the 20 regulated utilities' actual costs incurred to provide 21 service, rather than by competitive market forces; and 22 WHEREAS, many state legislatures and regulatory 23 commissions have implemented or are studying initiatives to 24 reform the regulation of gas utilities in their jurisdictions 25 so as to, among other things, increase competition in the 26 industry, permit customers to directly access gas from 27 suppliers other than their franchised local utility, and 28 permit alternatives to the traditional cost of service-based 29 rate base/rate of return method of setting gas utility rates; 30 and 31 WHEREAS, the commodity portion of the natural gas -2- SRS90SJ0006JJsa 1 industry has been substantially deregulated at the federal 2 level and natural gas service to industrial and commercial 3 natural gas customers has been significantly unbundled in 4 Illinois, allowing such customers to directly access gas from 5 suppliers other than their franchised local gas utilities; 6 and 7 WHEREAS, the state of Illinois and its citizens may 8 realize additional benefits from unbundling gas service at 9 the residential customer level and implementing alternatives 10 to the traditional cost of service-based rate base/rate of 11 return method of setting gas utility rates; and 12 WHEREAS, Illinois natural gas consumers have historically 13 enjoyed natural gas service at high levels of quality and 14 reliability, which must be preserved in implementing a 15 transition to a more competitive, lesser regulated natural 16 gas industry; and 17 WHEREAS, a free and competitive market contemplates 18 efficiencies not presumed to exist in a highly regulated 19 environment, and such competition and efficiencies may be 20 beneficial for all gas consumers, large and small; and 21 WHEREAS, the need for Illinois to allow greater 22 competition and reduced regulation in its natural gas utility 23 industry, to implement initiatives that may allow residents 24 in this state to manage their energy costs through 25 competitive access and to position itself to respond to other 26 competitive initiatives warrants the direct attention of a 27 special committee of the Ninetieth General Assembly, pursuant 28 to a charge and a schedule that will produce comprehensive 29 and equitable proposed legislation for consideration by the 30 full General Assembly at the earliest reasonably feasible 31 date, consistent with allowing opportunity for participation 32 by interested entities, in order to enable legislation to be -3- SRS90SJ0006JJsa 1 enacted by the General Assembly should it in its wisdom deem 2 it appropriate, therefore be it 3 RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETIETH GENERAL ASSEMBLY 4 OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 5 CONCURRING HEREIN, that a Joint Committee on Natural Gas 6 Utility Regulatory Reform shall be established, to consist 7 of, as voting members, six members of the Environment and 8 Energy Committee of the Senate, with four members appointed 9 from the majority party and two members from the minority 10 party, and six members of Environment and Energy Committee of 11 the House of Representatives with four members appointed from 12 the majority party and two members from the minority party; 13 and be it further 14 RESOLVED, that the respective House and Senate Committee 15 Chairmen shall serve as co-chairs of the Joint Committee and 16 the respective House and Senate Committee minority spokesmen 17 shall serve as spokesmen on the Joint Committee for the 18 minority members of the House and Senate; and be it further 19 RESOLVED, that the Senate appointments be made by the 20 President of the Senate and the Senate Minority Leader and 21 the House appointments be made by the Speaker of the House 22 and the House Minority Leader; and be it further 23 RESOLVED, that the Joint Committee is hereby charged to 24 consider any reports or studies of the evolution of the 25 natural gas industry and appropriate changes in the 26 regulatory framework sponsored by Illinois State agencies, 27 the agencies of other states or Illinois academic 28 institutions, including but not limited to, the Illinois 29 Commerce Commission and others representing various consumer 30 and utility interests, and reports or studies published in 31 recognized financial or utility industry publications; and be 32 it further -4- SRS90SJ0006JJsa 1 RESOLVED, that the Joint Committee shall have the 2 authority to hold public hearings and take oral and written 3 testimony, as deemed necessary by the Joint Committee; and be 4 it further 5 RESOLVED, the Joint Committee shall prepare and submit to 6 the members of the General Assembly a final report, including 7 specific legislative concepts, on or before January 1, 1998; 8 additionally, the General Assembly shall supply from existing 9 appropriations, sufficient additional staff support for 10 routine committee duties; and be it further 11 RESOLVED, that the Joint Committee shall cease to exist 12 upon adjournment sine die of the 90th General Assembly.
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