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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 350-H.F.No. 3070 
                  An act relating to energy; transferring proceeds of 
                  certain energy conservation accounts to commissioner 
                  of children, families, and learning; replacing public 
                  utility capital structure approval with security 
                  issuance approval; providing for variance for 
                  decorative gas lamp; amending Minnesota Statutes 1996, 
                  sections 216B.241, subdivision 2a; 216B.49, 
                  subdivisions 3 and 4; 216C.19, subdivision 6; and 
                  239.785, subdivision 6; repealing Minnesota Statutes 
                  1996, section 216B.49, subdivision 2.  
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 216B.241, 
        subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [ENERGY AND CONSERVATION ACCOUNT.] The 
        commissioner shall deposit money contributed under subdivisions 
        1a and 1b in the energy and conservation account in the general 
        fund.  Money in the account is appropriated to the department 
        for programs designed to meet the energy conservation needs of 
        low-income persons and to make energy conservation improvements 
        in areas not adequately served under subdivision 2.  Interest on 
        money in the account accrues to the account.  Using information 
        collected under section 216C.02, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), 
        the commissioner shall, to the extent possible, allocate enough 
        money to programs for low-income persons to assure that their 
        needs are being adequately addressed.  The commissioner shall 
        request the commissioner of finance to transfer money from the 
        account to the commissioner of economic security children, 
        families, and learning for an energy conservation program for 
        low-income persons.  In establishing programs, the commissioner 
        shall consult political subdivisions and nonprofit and community 
        organizations, especially organizations engaged in providing 
        energy and weatherization assistance to low-income persons.  At 
        least one program must address the need for energy conservation 
        improvements in areas in which a high percentage of residents 
        use fuel oil or propane to fuel their source of home heating.  
        The commissioner may contract with a political subdivision, a 
        nonprofit or community organization, a public utility, a 
        municipality, or a cooperative electric association to implement 
        its programs.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 216B.49, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [COMMISSION APPROVAL REQUIRED.] It shall be 
        unlawful for any public utility organized under the laws of this 
        state to offer or sell any security or, if organized under the 
        laws of any other state or foreign country, to subject property 
        in this state to an encumbrance for the purpose of securing the 
        payment of any indebtedness unless the capital structure 
        security issuance of the public utility shall first be approved 
        by the commission.  Approval by the commission shall be by 
        formal written order. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 216B.49, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
        FINANCING.] Upon the application of a public utility for 
        approval of its capital structure security issuance and prior to 
        the issuance of any security or the encumbrance of any property 
        for the purpose of securing the payment of any indebtedness, the 
        commission may make such inquiry or investigation, hold such 
        hearings, and examine such witnesses, books, papers, documents, 
        or contracts, as in its discretion it may deem necessary.  Prior 
        to approval the commission shall ascertain that the amount of 
        securities of each class which any public utility may issue 
        shall bear a reasonable proportion to each other and to the 
        value of the property, due consideration being given to the 
        nature of the business of the public utility, its credit and 
        prospects, the possibility that the value of the property may 
        change from time to time, the effect which the issue shall have 
        upon the management and operation of the public utility, and 
        other considerations which the commission as a matter of fact 
        shall find to be relevant.  If the commission shall find that 
        the proposed capital structure security issuance is reasonable 
        and proper and in the public interest and will not be 
        detrimental to the interests of the consumers and patrons 
        affected thereby, the commission shall by written order grant 
        its permission for the proposed public financing. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 216C.19, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [VARIANCE FOR DECORATIVE GAS LAMP.] Beginning 
        April 20, 1977, no person shall use a decorative gas lamp in 
        Minnesota except as provided in this subdivision and in 
        subdivision subdivisions 5 and 7.  The commissioner shall, at 
        the request of a homeowner who is 65 years old or older, grant a 
        permanent variance allowing the a homeowner who received a 
        variance in 1977 to operate a decorative gas lamp or lamps at 
        the homeowner's principal place of residence.  The variance 
        shall be valid for the life of the recipient but shall be 
        renewed every four years.  The commissioner may shall not issue 
        a variance after August 1, 1992, except variances issued before 
        that date may be renewed under this subdivision to any other 
        person to use a decorative gas lamp or lamps. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 239.785, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS ACCOUNT.] A liquefied 
        petroleum gas account in the special revenue fund is established 
        in the state treasury.  Fees and penalties collected under this 
        section must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to 
        the liquefied petroleum gas account.  Money in that account, 
        including interest earned, is appropriated to the commissioner 
        of economic security children, families, and learning for 
        programs to improve the energy efficiency of residential 
        liquefied petroleum gas heating equipment in low-income 
        households, and, when necessary, to provide weatherization 
        services to the homes. 
           Sec. 6.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 216B.49, subdivision 2, is 
           Presented to the governor March 30, 1998 
           Signed by the governor April 2, 1998, 11:02 a.m.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes