State of Illinois
90th General Assembly

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[ Introduced ][ Senate Amendment 001 ]


90SJ0031 Engrossed                            SRS90SJ0006JJsa
 1                   SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31
 2               (As amended by Senate Amendment No. 1)
 3        WHEREAS, The Illinois General  Assembly  recognizes  that
 4    the  health,  welfare  and  prosperity  of  all  citizens  of
 5    Illinois   require  the  provision  of  adequate,  efficient,
 6    reliable, environmentally safe, and economic  public  utility
 7    services  at  prices that both accurately reflect the cost of
 8    services and are equitable to all citizens; and
 9        WHEREAS, Natural gas has traditionally been  provided  by
10    regulated  public  utilities  and municipalities with defined
11    service territories; and
12        WHEREAS,  Utilities  in  Illinois   and   elsewhere   are
13    currently  positioning  themselves to access open markets and
14    advocates of open access envision that  many  suppliers  will
15    compete  to  provide  a variety of energy services, including
16    the supply of both natural gas and electricity; and
17        WHEREAS, Rates for gas service charged by  regulated  gas
18    utilities  historically  have  been established by regulatory
19    agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory  Commission
20    and  the  Illinois  Commerce  Commission, on the basis of the
21    regulated  utilities'  actual  costs  incurred   to   provide
22    service, rather than by competitive market forces; and
23        WHEREAS,   Many   state   legislatures   and   regulatory
24    commissions  have  implemented or are studying initiatives to
25    reform the regulation of gas utilities in their jurisdictions
26    so as to, among other things,  increase  competition  in  the
27    industry,  permit  customers  to  directly  access  gas  from
28    suppliers  other  than  their  franchised  local utility, and
29    permit alternatives to the traditional cost of  service-based
30    rate base/rate of return method of setting gas utility rates;
31    and
32        WHEREAS,   The  commodity  portion  of  the  natural  gas
90SJ0031 Engrossed          -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
90SJ0031 Engrossed          -3-               SRS90SJ0006JJsa
 1    enacted  by the General Assembly should it in its wisdom deem
 2    it appropriate; therefore, be it
 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
90SJ0031 Engrossed          -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, That the members of the Joint  Committee  shall
 6    serve  without  compensation, but may be reimbursed for their
 7    necessary expenses; and be it further
 8        RESOLVED, The Joint Committee shall prepare and submit to
 9    the members of the General Assembly a final report, including
10    specific legislative concepts, on or before January 1,  1998;
11    additionally, the General Assembly shall supply from existing
12    appropriations,   sufficient  additional  staff  support  for
13    routine committee duties; and be it further
14        RESOLVED, That the Joint Committee shall cease  to  exist
15    upon adjournment sine die of the 90th General Assembly.

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