Report Title:

Underground Utility Lines; Conversion Fund

 

Description:

Establishes an underground conversion fund administered by the public utilities commission with funds deposited from legislative appropriations, voluntary contributions and utility contributions as authorized by the PUC; requires PUC to establish cost allocations for counties that determine underground zones through special improvement districts by ordinance.

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1232

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to underground utility lines.

 

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

SECTION 1. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"269-A Underground conversion fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury the underground conversion fund, which shall be administered by the commission. The following revenues shall be deposited into the fund:

(1) Legislative appropriations;

(2) Voluntary contributions including any contributions paid along with state income tax due or amounts paid in excess of a utility bill that is part of a "round-up" program; and

(3) Contributions by a utility by order of the commission.

(b) All moneys in the fund shall be used for the conversion of overhead utility lines to underground facilities. The conversion of overhead utility lines includes the planning, design, and construction of the new facilities and the removal of the old overhead facilities.

(c) The commission shall establish criteria allocating funds to counties that determine undergrounding zones through special improvement districts by ordinance.

(d) The commission shall adopt rules according to chapter 91 to carry out the administration of the fund.

269-B Allocation of revenues to underground conversion fund. (a) The commission shall establish an annual allocation of revenues from each utility company having above ground facilities. The allocation shall be deposited into the underground conversion fund established in section 269-A. Revenues allocated annually to the fund by each utility shall not exceed two per cent of the annual gross revenues of the utility.

(b) The commission shall allow the utilities to collect voluntary contributions by consumers for deposit into the fund through a "round-up" program. A round-up program is a program in which consumers may choose to round their utility bill up to the nearest dollar. The difference between the actual bill and the rounded amount is deposited into the underground conversion fund. The round-up program shall be administered by the utility. All funds collected by a utility in a round-up program shall be deposited monthly into the underground conversion fund. Any funds collected by a utility through a round-up program shall be excluded in determining the annual gross revenue of the utility."

SECTION 2. Chapter 235, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"235-    Voluntary contributions to the underground conversion fund. The director shall allow taxpayers to designate and pay a voluntary contribution to the underground conversion fund on their annual income tax return. The voluntary contribution shall be added to the final income tax due or subtracted from any refund due and may be allocated to the underground conversion fund, if applicable."

SECTION 3. In codifying the new sections added by section 1 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in the new sections designated in this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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