2nd Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to utilities; regulating an electric 1.3 cooperative's election to be regulated; amending 1.4 Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 216B.026, 1.5 subdivisions 1 and 4. 1.6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.7 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 216B.026, 1.8 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 1.9 Subdivision 1. [ELECTION.] A cooperative electric 1.10 association may elect to become subject to rate regulation by 1.11 the commission pursuant to sections 216B.03 to 216B.23. The 1.12 election shall be approved by a majority of members or 1.13 stockholders voting by mail ballot initiated by petition of not 1.14 less than five percent of the members or stockholders of the 1.15 association, as determined by membership figures submitted by 1.16 the association to the rural electric administration for the 1.17 month in which the petition was submitted. For a cooperative 1.18 electric association that is the product of a merger or 1.19 consolidation of three or more associations between December 30, 1.20 1996, and January 1, 2001, the number of members or stockholders 1.21 necessary to initiate the petition shall be no less than one 1.22 percent of the members or stockholders of the association. 1.23 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 216B.026, 1.24 subdivision 4, is amended to read: 1.25 Subd. 4. [ELECTION PROCEDURE; EFFECT.] If the department 2.1 determines that the petition meets the
fivepercent 2.2 requirement of subdivision 1, a balloting of members on the 2.3 question of regulation of electric rates by the commission shall 2.4 be supervised by the department. The ballot to be used for the 2.5 election shall be approved by the board of directors of the 2.6 association and the department. In the event of a dispute on 2.7 balloting procedures, the dispute shall be resolved through 2.8 informal proceedings before the commission after notice to all 2.9 parties. The association shall mail ballots to the 2.10 association's members who shall return the ballots to the 2.11 department. The department shall keep the ballots sealed until 2.12 a date agreed upon by the department and the board of 2.13 directors. On this date, representatives of the department and 2.14 the association shall count the ballots. If a majority of the 2.15 association's members or spouses who vote, elect to become 2.16 subject to rate regulation by the commission, the election shall 2.17 be effective 30 days after certified copies of the resolutions 2.18 approving the election are filed with the commission. These 2.19 provisions also apply to associations that wish to be 2.20 deregulated. Any cooperative that is regulated by the 2.21 commission, pursuant to sections 216B.03 to 216B.23 may follow 2.22 the procedures set forth above. Any association subject to 2.23 regulation of rates by the commission shall be exempt from the 2.24 provisions of sections 216B.48, 216B.49, 216B.50, and 216B.51. 2.25 Sec. 3. [MEMBER DUE PROCESS.] 2.26 Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.027, granting rights to 2.27 stockholders, applies to the exercise of stockholders' rights 2.28 regardless of whether a referendum has been held as required by 2.29 Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.027, subdivision 7. 2.30 Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.027, 2.31 subdivision 6, a cooperative shall pay the costs of including 2.32 stockholders' positions on issues as provided under Minnesota 2.33 Statutes, section 216B.027, subdivision 6. This section applies 2.34 only to elections that require no less than one percent of 2.35 members to initiate pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 2.36 216B.026, subdivision 1. 3.1 Sec. 4. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 3.2 Sections 1 to 3 are effective the day following final 3.3 enactment.