Public Act 90-0305 of the 90th General Assembly

State of Illinois
Public Acts
90th General Assembly

[ Home ] [ Public Acts ] [ ILCS ] [ Search ] [ Bottom ]

Public Act 90-0305

SB151 Enrolled                                LRB9000670SMdvA

    AN ACT regarding assessments on the propane industry.

    Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:

    Section  1.   Short  title.  This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Propane Education and Research Act of 1997.

    Section 5. Definitions.  In this Act, unless the  context
otherwise requires:
    "Council"  means a Propane Education and Research Council
created pursuant to Section 10 of this Act;
    "Director" means Director of Agriculture or  his  or  her
    "Education"  means  any  action  to  provide  information
regarding   propane,   propane   equipment,   mechanical  and
technical  practices,  and  propane  uses  to  consumers  and
members of the propane industry;
    "Industry"  means   those   persons   involved   in   the
production,  transportation,  and  sale  of  propane, and the
manufacture   and   distribution   of   propane   utilization
    "Industry trade association" means an organization exempt
from tax, under Section 501(c)(3), or  (6)  of  the  Internal
Revenue Code of 1986, representing the propane industry;
    "Odorized  propane"  means  propane  which has an odorant
added to it;
    "Producer" means the owner of propane at the time  it  is
recovered at a gas processing plant or refinery; irrespective
of the state where production occurs;
    "Propane"  means a hydrocarbon whose chemical composition
is predominately C3H8, whether recovered from natural gas  or
crude   oil,  and  includes  liquified  petroleum  gases  and
mixtures thereof;
    "Public member" means a member of the Council other  than
a   representative   of   producers   or   retail   marketers
representing  significant  users  of  propane,  public safety
officials,  state  regulatory  officials,  or  other   groups
knowledgeable about propane;
    "Qualified  industry  organization"  means  the  Illinois
Propane   Gas   Association,   the   National   Propane   Gas
Association,  the  Gas  Processors  Association,  a successor
association of  these  associations,  or  any  other  propane
industry organization;
    "Research"  means  any  type  of  study, investigation or
other activities designed to advance the image, desirability,
usage, marketability, efficiency, and safety of  propane  and
to further the development of such information;
    "Retail marketer" means a person engaged primarily in the
sale  of  odorized  propane  to  the  ultimate consumer or to
retail propane dispensers; and
    "Retail propane  dispenser"  means  a  person  who  sells
odorized  propane to the ultimate consumer but is not engaged
primarily in the business of such sales.

    Section 10.  Referendum; creation and  termination  of  a
    (a)  Qualified  industry  organizations  shall conduct at
their own expense, a referendum among  producers  and  retail
marketers  for  the creation of an Illinois Propane Education
and Research Council.  The  Council,  if  established,  shall
reimburse  the  qualified industry organizations for the cost
of  the  referendum  accounting   and   documentation.    The
referendum shall be conducted by an independent auditing firm
agreed  to  by  the  qualified  industry  organizations.  The
results, as certified by an independent auditing firm,  shall
be submitted to the Director within 30 days of certification.
Voting  rights in the referendum shall be based on the volume
of propane produced or odorized propane sold in the  previous
calendar  year.   Upon approval of those persons representing
two-thirds of the total volume of propane voted in the retail
marketer class and two-thirds of all  propane  voted  in  the
producer  class,  the Council shall be established, and shall
be authorized to levy an assessment on  odorized  propane  in
accordance  with  Section  20.   All  persons  voting  in the
referendum shall certify to the independent auditing firm the
volume of propane represented by their vote.
    (b)  On the Council's own initiative, or on  petition  to
the  Council  by  producers and retail marketers representing
35% of the volume of  propane  in  each  class,  the  Council
shall,  at its own expense, hold a referendum to be conducted
by an independent auditing firm selected by the  Council,  to
determine   whether   the   industry  favors  termination  or
suspension of the Council.  Termination or  suspension  shall
not take effect unless it is approved by persons representing
more than one-half of the total volume of odorized propane in
the  retail  marketer  class and more than one-half the total
volume of propane in the producer class.

    Section 15.   Illinois  Propane  Education  and  Research
    (a)  The  qualified  industry  organizations shall select
all retail marketers, public, and  producer  members  of  the
Council.    The   producer  organizations  shall  select  the
producer  members  of  the  Council,  the   retail   marketer
organizations  shall  select retail marketer members, and all
qualified industry organizations  shall  jointly  select  the
public members.  Vacancies in the unfinished terms of Council
members  shall  be  filled  in  the  same  manner as were the
original appointments.
    (b)  In selecting members of the Council,  the  qualified
industry  organizations  shall give due regard to selecting a
Council that is representative  of  the  industry,  including
representation of:
         (1)  gas   processors   and   oil   refiners   among
         (2)  interstate   and   intrastate  operators  among
    retail marketers;
         (3)  large and small companies among  producers  and
    retail  marketers,  including  agricultural cooperatives;
         (4)  diverse geographic regions of the State.
    (c)  The Council shall consist  of  12  members,  with  5
members representing retail marketers, 5 members representing
producers,  and  2  public  members.    Other than the public
members, Council members  shall  be  full-time  employees  or
owners  of  businesses  in the industry or representatives of
agricultural  cooperatives.   No  employee  of  a   qualified
industry organization shall serve as a member of the Council,
and  no  member  of  the Council may serve concurrently as an
officer of the board of directors  of  a  qualified  industry
organization  or other trade association.  Only one person at
a time from any company or its affiliate  may  serve  on  the
Council.  The  Director may serve as an ex-officio non-voting
member of the Council.
    (d)  Council members shall receive  no  compensation  for
their  services,  nor shall Council members be reimbursed for
expenses  relating  to  their  service,  except  that  public
members, upon  request,  may  be  reimbursed  for  reasonable
expenses  directly  related to their participation in Council
    (e)  Council members shall serve terms of 3 years and may
not serve  more  than  2  full  consecutive  terms.   Members
filling  unexpired terms may serve not more than a total of 7
consecutive years.  Former members  of  the  Council  may  be
returned  to  the Council if they have not been members for a
period of 2 years.  Initial appointments to the council shall
be for terms of 1, 2, and 3 years staggered  to  provide  for
the  selection  of  4  members  each  year. The Council shall
notify the Director of the name, address, and propane-related
affiliation, if any, of a Council member within 30 days after
the appointment of the member to the Council.
    (f)  The Council shall develop programs and projects  and
enter into contracts or agreements for implementing this Act,
including  programs  to  enhance consumer and employee safety
and training, to provide  for  research  and  development  of
clean  and efficient propane utilization equipment, to inform
and  educate  the  public  about  safety  and  other   issues
associated  with  the  use of propane, and to provide for the
payment of the costs thereof with funds collected pursuant to
this Act.  The Council shall coordinate its  activities  with
industry  trade  associations  and  others  as appropriate to
provide  efficient  delivery  of  services   and   to   avoid
unnecessary duplication of activities.
    (g)  Issues  related to research and development, safety,
education, and  training  shall  be  given  priority  by  the
Council in the development of its programs and projects.
    (h)  The  Council  shall  select from among its members a
Chairperson and other officers as  necessary,  may  establish
committees  and subcommittees of the Council, and shall adopt
rules  and  bylaws  for  the  conduct  of  business  and  the
implementation of this  Act.   The  Council  shall  establish
procedures  for  the  solicitation  of  industry  comment and
recommendations  on  any  significant  plans,  programs,  and
projects to be  funded  by  the  Council.   The  Council  may
establish  advisory  committees of persons other than Council
    (i)  At the beginning of each fiscal period, the  Council
shall  prepare  a  budget  plan  for  the next fiscal period,
including the probable cost of all  programs,  projects,  and
contracts  and a recommended rate of assessment sufficient to
cover such costs.  The  Council  shall  submit  the  proposed
budget  to the Director for review and comment.  The Director
may recommend programs and activities considered appropriate.
    (j)  The Council shall keep minutes, books,  and  records
that  clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the
Council and make public such information.  The books  of  the
Council  shall be audited by a certified public accountant at
least once each fiscal year and at such other  times  as  the
Council  may designate. The expense of the audit shall be the
responsibility of the Council. Copies of such audit shall  be
provided  to  all  members  of  the  Council,  all  qualified
industry  organizations, and to other members of the industry
upon request.

    Section 20.  Assessments.
    (a)  The Council shall set the initial assessment  at  no
greater  than  1/10 of 1 cent per gallon of odorized propane.
Thereafter, annual assessments shall be sufficient  to  cover
the  costs  of  plans  and programs developed by the Council.
The assessment shall not be greater than 1/2 cent per  gallon
of odorized propane, unless approved by the majority of those
voting  in  a  referendum  in  both  the  producer and retail
marketer class.  In no case may the assessment be  raised  by
more  than  1/10  of  1  cent  per gallon of odorized propane
    (b)  The  owner  of  odorized  propane  at  the  time  of
odorization, or the time of import of odorized propane  shall
make  the  assessment based on the volume of odorized propane
sold and placed into commerce.  The  assessment,  when  made,
shall  be  listed as a separate line item on the bill labeled
"Illinois  Propane  Education   and   Research   Assessment".
Assessments  collected from purchasers of propane are payable
to the Council on a monthly basis by the 25th  of  the  month
following  the month of collection. If payment is not made to
the Council  by  the  due  date  under  this  subsection,  an
interest  penalty  of  1% of any amount unpaid shall be added
for each month or fraction of a month  after  the  due  date,
until final payment is made.
    (c)  The  Council  may  establish an alternative means of
collecting the assessment if another means  is  found  to  be
more  efficient  and  effective.  The Council may establish a
late payment charge and rate of interest to be imposed on any
person who fails to remit or pay to the  Council  any  amount
due under this Act.
    (d)  Pending disbursement pursuant to a program, plan, or
project,  the  Council  shall  invest funds collected through
assessments, and any other funds  received  by  the  Council,
only  in  obligations  of  the  United  States  or any agency
thereof, in general obligations of  any  State  or  political
subdivision  thereof,  in  any  interest-bearing  account  or
certificate  of  deposit  of  a  bank that is a member of the
Federal Reserve System, or in obligations fully guaranteed as
to principal and interest by the United States.

    Section 25.  Refunds.  A purchaser of propane who has  an
assessment  added  as  a  line item to the sale price may, by
application in writing to the Council, secure a refund in the
amount  added.  The  refund  shall  be   payable   when   the
application has been made to the Council within 60 days after
the  assessment.  Interest  shall  be allowed and paid at the
rate of 6% per annum upon the total amount of such assessment
imposed by this Act, except that if any  such  assessment  is
refunded  within  90 days after an application for refund has
been made within the required 60  days  after  assessment  or
within  90  days  after  the seller of the propane remits the
assessments collected to the Council, whichever is later,  no
interest   shall   be   allowed   on  such  assessment.  Each
application for refund by a purchaser of propane  shall  have
attached thereto proof of assessment charged. A purchaser who
obtains  a  refund  is not eligible for any benefits provided
under the Council's programs.

    Section 30.  Compliance.  The  circuit  court  is  vested
with  the  jurisdiction specifically to enforce this Act, and
prevent or restrain any person from violating any  provisions
of  this  Act.  A successful action for compliance under this
Section may also require payment  by  the  defendant  of  the
costs incurred by the Council in bringing the action.

    Section  35.   Lobbying restrictions.  No funds collected
by the Council shall be used in any  manner  for  influencing
legislation   or  elections,  except  that  the  Council  may
recommend to the  Director  changes  in  this  Act  or  other
statutes that would further the purpose of this Act.

    Section 40.  Pricing.  In all cases, the price of propane
shall  be  determined  by market forces.  Consistent with the
antitrust laws, the Council may take no action, nor  may  any
provision  of  this  Act  be  interpreted  as establishing an
agreement  to  pass  along  to  consumers  the  cost  of  the
assessment provided for in Section 20.

    Section 45.  Relation to other programs.  Nothing in this
Act may be  construed  to  preempt  or  supersede  any  other
program  relating to propane education and research organized
and operated under the laws of the State of Illinois.

[ Top ]