I sent a note last week about how the bonding process works. Just to follow up on that, the bonding bill made its way through the House this week and now a conference committee is reconciling differences between House and Senate versions. I will pass along more details when we see how things unfold.
We have an interesting ongoing discussion in the Energy Finance and Policy Division. I am a member of that committee and some legislators are proposing legislation that could really put our utility companies in a bind. The current system allows utility companies to enact an interim rate as they await approval from the Public Utilities Commission pertaining to proposed increases. If the PUC grants the request, the rate goes into effect. If the PUC denies the request, customers are refunded their overpayment (with interest included).
On top of that, legislation has been offered to limit compensation for utility CEOs. Our businesses already are feeling the pinch of our current recession and adding even more government restrictions seems misguided or, at the very least, ill-timed. It seems like Washington’s style of politics is making its way to our state.
Otter Tail County has a lot of utility stakeholders and this will be an issue for them because they want to make sure their investment is sound.
Lastly, I would like to send out one last call to participate in my legislative survey. We will be tabulating the results soon, so please take a moment to have your opinions counted. You can find my survey at www.house.mn/10B.