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HF 1289

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 02/18/2021 03:31pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying provisions providing for a participant's compensation
in certain Public Utilities Commission proceedings; amending Minnesota Statutes
2020, section 216B.16, subdivision 10.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 216B.16, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

deleted text beginIntervenordeleted text end Compensationnew text begin for participants in proceedingsnew text end.

(a) deleted text beginA nonprofit
organization or an individual granted formal intervenor status by the commission is
deleted text endnew text begin The
following entities are
new text end eligible to receive compensationnew text begin under this subdivision:
new text end

new text begin (1) a nonprofit organization that is:
new text end

new text begin (i) exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue
Code;
new text end

new text begin (ii) incorporated in Minnesota; and
new text end

new text begin (iii) governed under chapter 317A;
new text end

new text begin (2) a tribal government of a federally recognized Indian tribe that is located in Minnesota;
and
new text end

new text begin (3) a Minnesota residentnew text end.

(b) The commission may order a new text beginpublic new text endutility to compensate all or part of an eligible
deleted text begin intervenor'sdeleted text endnew text begin participant'snew text end reasonable costs of participation in a deleted text begingeneral rate casedeleted text endnew text begin proceedingnew text end
that comes before the commission when the commission finds that the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end
has materially assisted the commission's deliberation deleted text beginand when a lack of compensation
would present financial hardship to the intervenor. Compensation may not exceed $50,000
for a single intervenor in any proceeding
deleted text end.

For the purpose of this subdivision, "materially assisted" means that the deleted text beginintervenor's
participation and presentation was
deleted text endnew text begin participant's contributions werenew text end useful and seriously
considered, or otherwise substantially contributed to the commission's deliberations in the
proceeding.

(c) In determining whether deleted text beginan intervenordeleted text endnew text begin a participantnew text end has materially assisted the
commission's deliberation, the commission must deleted text beginconsider, among other factors, whetherdeleted text endnew text begin
find that
new text end:

(1) the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participant made a unique contribution to the record andnew text end represented
an interest that would not otherwise have been adequately represented;

(2) the evidence or arguments presented or the positions taken by the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin
participant
new text end were an important factor in producing a fair decision;

(3) the deleted text beginintervenor'sdeleted text endnew text begin participant'snew text end position promoted a public purpose or policy;

(4) the evidence presented, arguments made, issues raised, or positions taken by the
deleted text begin intervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end would not new text beginotherwise new text endhave been deleted text beginadeleted text end part of the record deleted text beginwithout the
intervenor's participation
deleted text end;

new text begin (5) the participant was active in any commission-ordered stakeholder process made part
of the proceeding;
new text end and

deleted text begin (5) the administrative law judge or the commission
deleted text end

new text begin (6) the proceeding resulted in a commission order thatnew text end adopted, in whole or in part, a
position advocated by the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end.

deleted text begin (d) In determining whether the absence of compensation would present financial hardship
to the intervenor, the commission must consider:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (1) whether the costs presented in the intervenor's claim reflect reasonable fees for
attorneys and expert witnesses and other reasonable costs; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2) the ratio between the costs of intervention and the intervenor's unrestricted funds.
deleted text end

new text begin (d) Compensation must not exceed $75,000 for a single participant in any proceeding,
except that if a proceeding extends beyond one calendar year, a participant may request
compensation of up to $75,000 for costs incurred in each calendar year. Participants
representing similar interests are encouraged to participate jointly. Compensation requests
from joint participants must be presented as a single request. A single participant must not
be granted more than $250,000 under this subdivision in a single calendar year.
new text end

new text begin (e) Notwithstanding paragraph (d), the commission is prohibited from, in any calendar
year, requiring a single utility to pay aggregate compensation under this section that exceeds
the following amounts:
new text end

new text begin (1) $150,000, for a utility with up to $300,000,000 annual gross operating revenue in
Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (2) $500,000, for a utility with more than $300,000,000 but less than $1,000,000,000
annual gross operating revenue in Minnesota;
new text end

new text begin (3) $1,000,000, for a utility with more than $1,000,000,000 but less than $3,000,000,000
annual gross operating revenue in Minnesota; and
new text end

new text begin (4) $2,500,000, for a utility with more than $3,000,000,000 annual gross operating
revenue in Minnesota.
new text end

new text begin (f) When requests for compensation from any utility approach the limits established in
paragraph (e), the commission may prioritize requests from parties that received less
compensation during the previous two years.
new text end

deleted text begin (e) An intervenordeleted text endnew text begin (g) A participantnew text end seeking compensation must file a request and an
affidavit of service with the commission, and serve a copy of the request on each party to
the proceeding. The request must be filed new text beginno more than new text end30 days after the later ofnew text begin:new text end (1) the
expiration of the period within which a petition for rehearing, amendment, vacation,
reconsideration, or reargument must be filednew text begin;new text end or (2) the date the commission issues an order
following rehearing, amendment, vacation, reconsideration, or reargument.

deleted text begin (f)deleted text endnew text begin (h)new text end The compensation request must include:

(1) the name and address of the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end or representative of the nonprofit
organization the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end is representing;

(2) deleted text beginproofdeleted text endnew text begin evidencenew text end of the organization's nonprofit, tax-exempt status;

(3) the name and docket number of the proceeding for which compensation is requested;

(4) a list of actual annual revenues and expenses deleted text beginof the organization the intervenor is
representing
deleted text endnew text begin incurred for participation in commission proceedingsnew text end for the preceding deleted text beginyeardeleted text endnew text begin
and current years,
new text end and projected revenues, revenue sources, and expenses for the current
year;

(5) deleted text beginthe organization's balance sheet for the preceding year and a current monthly balance
sheet
deleted text endnew text begin amount of compensation awarded to the participant under this subdivision during the
current year, by docket
new text end;

(6) an itemization of deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin the participant'snew text end costsnew text begin, excluding overhead costs,new text end and
the total compensation request; and

(7) a narrative explaining deleted text beginwhy additional organizational funds cannot be devoted to the
intervention
deleted text endnew text begin the unique contribution made to the proceeding by the participantnew text end.

deleted text begin (g)deleted text endnew text begin (i)new text end Within 30 days after service of the request for compensation, a party may file a
response, together with an affidavit of service, with the commission. A copy of the response
must be served on the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end and all other parties to the proceeding.

deleted text begin (h)deleted text endnew text begin (j)new text end Within 15 days after the response is filed, the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end may file a
reply with the commission. A copy of the reply and an affidavit of service must be served
on all other parties to the proceeding.

deleted text begin (i)deleted text endnew text begin (k)new text end If additional costs are incurred as a result of additional proceedings following the
commission's initial order, the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end may file an amended request within
30 days after the commission issues an amended order. Paragraphs deleted text begin(e)deleted text endnew text begin (g)new text end to deleted text begin(h)deleted text endnew text begin (j)new text end apply
to an amended request.

deleted text begin (j)deleted text endnew text begin (l)new text end The commission must issue a decision on deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end compensation
within 60 days of a filing by deleted text beginan intervenordeleted text endnew text begin a participantnew text end.

deleted text begin (k)deleted text endnew text begin (m)new text end A party may request reconsideration of the commission's compensation decision
within 30 days of the decision.

deleted text begin (l)deleted text endnew text begin (n)new text end If the commission issues an order requiring payment of deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end
compensation, the utility that was the subject of the proceeding must pay the compensation
to the deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end, and file with the commission proof of payment, within 30 days
after the later ofnew text begin:new text end (1) the expiration of the period within which a petition for reconsideration
of the commission's compensation decision must be filednew text begin;new text end or (2) the date the commission
issues an order following reconsideration of its order on deleted text beginintervenordeleted text endnew text begin participantnew text end compensation.

new text begin (o) If the commission issues an order requiring payment of participant compensation in
a proceeding involving multiple utilities, the commission must apportion costs among
utilities in proportion to each utility's annual revenue requirement, as determined in its most
recent general rate case.
new text end

new text begin (p) The commission must allow a utility to recover the costs of participant compensation.
new text end

new text begin (q) For purposes of this subdivision, "participant" means a person who meets the
requirements of paragraph (a) and who:
new text end

new text begin (1) files comments or appears in a Public Utilities Commission proceeding, other than
public hearings, concerning one or more public utilities; or
new text end

new text begin (2) is permitted by the Public Utilities Commissions to intervene in a commission
proceeding concerning one or more public utilities.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end