HB3104 EngrossedLRB098 08168 JLS 38264 b

1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by adding
5Sections 11-117-12.3 and 11-117-12.5 and by changing Section
611-141-7 as follows:
7    (65 ILCS 5/11-117-12.3 new)
8    Sec. 11-117-12.3. Discontinued water or sewer service. Any
9investor-owned public utility, municipal-owned public utility,
10public or municipal corporation, or political subdivision
11furnishing water or sewer service may discontinue service only
12on a day followed by a business day and after the water or
13sewer utility has mailed or delivered by other means a written
14notice of discontinuance.
15    (65 ILCS 5/11-117-12.5 new)
16    Sec. 11-117-12.5. Calculating past due bills. Any
17investor-owned public utility, municipal-owned public utility,
18public or municipal corporation, or political subdivision
19furnishing water or sewer service shall not consider a
20customer's bill, when paid in person, past due unless the
21payment is made after the due date printed on the bill. When a
22customer mails any payment in the net amount of a bill for



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1service, the payment shall be considered past due if the
2payment is postmarked after the due date printed on the bill.
3The due date printed on the bill may not be less than 21 days
4after the date upon which (i) the bill is mailed to the
5customer, (ii) the bill is delivered in person to the customer,
6(iii) the bill is sent electronically to the customer, or (iv)
7the customer is notified that the bill is available
8electronically. The bill shall include a bill date that shall
9not be less than 21 days prior to the due date on the bill.
10    (65 ILCS 5/11-141-7)  (from Ch. 24, par. 11-141-7)
11    Sec. 11-141-7. Powers. The corporate authorities of any
12municipality that owns and operates or that may hereafter own
13and operate a sewerage system constructed or acquired under the
14provisions of any law of this state may make, enact, and
15enforce all needful rules, regulations, and ordinances for the
16improvement, care, and protection of its sewerage system and
17any other sewer or sewerage system, located outside the
18corporate boundary of the municipality and not owned by it,
19that directly or indirectly connects with the municipality's
20sewerage system, which may be conducive to the preservation of
21the public health, comfort, and convenience, and may render the
22sewage carried in the sewerage system of the municipality
23harmless in so far as it is reasonably possible to do so.
24    The corporate authorities of such a municipality may, by
25ordinance, charge the inhabitants thereof for the use and



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1service of its sewerage system whether by direct or indirect
2connection therewith within or without the corporate boundary,
3and to establish charges or rates for that purpose. The
4corporate authorities of such a municipality may by ordinance
5charge the users thereof, whether they be inside of or outside
6of the municipality, for the use and service of its sewerage
7system whether by direct or indirect connection therewith,
8within or without the corporate boundary, and may establish
9charges or rates for that purpose, provided however that where
10such users are residents of another municipality with whom
11there is a contract for use and service of the sewerage system,
12then such charges or rates shall be made in accordance with the
13terms of the contract, either directly to the users or to the
14contracting municipality as may be provided by the provisions
15of the contract. In making such rates and charges the
16municipality may provide for a rate to the outside users in
17excess of the rate fixed for the inhabitants of said
18municipality as may be reasonable. Where bonds are issued as
19provided in Sections 11-141-2 and 11-141-3, the corporate
20authorities shall establish rates or charges as provided in
21this section, and these charges or rates shall be sufficient at
22all times to pay the cost of operation and maintenance, to
23provide an adequate depreciation fund, and to pay the principal
24of and interest upon all revenue bonds issued under Sections
2511-141-2 and 11-141-3.
26    A depreciation fund is a fund for such replacements as may



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1be necessary from time to time for the continued effective and
2efficient operation of the system. The depreciation fund shall
3not be allowed to accumulate beyond a reasonable amount
4necessary for that purpose, and shall not be used for
5extensions to the system.
6    Charges or rates shall be established, revised, and
7maintained by ordinance and become payable as the corporate
8authorities may determine by ordinance.
9    Such charges or rates are liens upon the real estate upon
10or for which sewerage service is supplied whenever the charges
11or rates become delinquent as provided by the ordinance of the
12municipality fixing a delinquency date. A lien is created under
13the preceding sentence only if the municipality sends to the
14owner or owners of record, as referenced by the taxpayer's
15identification number, of the real estate (i) a copy of each
16delinquency notice sent to the person who is delinquent in
17paying the charges or rates or other notice sufficient to
18inform the owner or owners of record, as referenced by the
19taxpayer's identification number, that the charges or rates
20have become delinquent and (ii) a notice that unpaid charges or
21rates may create a lien on the real estate under this Section.
22However, the municipality has no preference over the rights of
23any purchaser, mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lien
24holder arising prior to the filing of the notice of such a lien
25in the office of the recorder of the county in which such real
26estate is located, or in the office of the registrar of titles



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1of such county if the property affected is registered under "An
2Act concerning land titles", approved May 1, 1897, as amended.
3This notice shall consist of a sworn statement setting out (1)
4a description of such real estate sufficient for the
5identification thereof, (2) the amount of money due for such
6sewerage service, and (3) the date when such amount became
7delinquent. The municipality shall send a copy of the notice of
8the lien to the owner or owners of record of the real estate,
9as referenced by the taxpayer's identification number. The
10municipality has the power to foreclose this lien in the same
11manner and with the same effect as in the foreclosure of
12mortgages on real estate.
13    Except in counties with a population of more than 250,000
14where the majority of the municipal sewerage system users are
15located outside of the municipality's corporate limits, the
16payment of delinquent charges for sewerage service to any
17premises may be enforced by discontinuing either the water
18service or the sewerage service to that premises, or both. A
19rate or charge is delinquent if it is more than 30 days
20overdue. The due date printed on the bill may not be less than
2121 days after the date upon which (i) the bill is mailed to the
22customer, (ii) the bill is delivered in person to the customer,
23(iii) the bill is sent electronically to the customer, or (iv)
24the customer is notified that the bill is available
25electronically. The bill shall include a bill date that shall
26not be less than 21 days prior to the due date on the bill. Any



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1public or municipal corporation or political subdivision of the
2State furnishing water service to a premises (i) shall
3discontinue that service upon receiving written notice from the
4municipality providing sewerage service that payment of the
5rate or charge for sewerage service to the premises has become
6delinquent and (ii) shall not resume water service until
7receiving a similar notice that the delinquency has been
8removed. The provider of sewerage service shall not request
9discontinuation of water service before sending a notice of the
10delinquency to the sewer user and affording the user an
11opportunity to be heard. An investor-owned public utility
12providing water service within a municipality that provides
13sewerage service may contract with the municipality to
14discontinue water service to a premises with respect to which
15the payment of a rate or charge for sewerage service has become
16delinquent. The municipality shall reimburse the privately
17owned public utility, public or municipal corporation, or
18political subdivision of the State for the reasonable cost of
19the discontinuance and the resumption of water service, any
20lost water service revenues, and the costs of discontinuing
21water service. The municipality shall indemnify the privately
22owned public utility, public or municipal corporation, or
23political subdivision of the State for any judgment and related
24attorney's fees resulting from an action based on any provision
25of this paragraph.
26    The municipality also has the power, from time to time, to



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1sue the occupant or user of that real estate in a civil action
2to recover money due for sewerage services, plus a reasonable
3attorney's fee, to be fixed by the court. However, whenever a
4judgment is entered in such a civil action, the foregoing
5provisions in this section with respect to filing sworn
6statements of such delinquencies in the office of the recorder
7and creating a lien against the real estate shall not be
8effective as to the charges sued upon and no lien shall exist
9thereafter against the real estate for the delinquency.
10Judgment in such a civil action operates as a release and
11waiver of the lien upon the real estate for the amount of the
13(Source: P.A. 93-500, eff. 6-1-04.)
14    Section 10. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
15Section 8-306 as follows:
16    (220 ILCS 5/8-306)
17    Sec. 8-306. Special provisions relating to water and sewer
19    (a) No later than 120 days after the effective date of this
20amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, the Commission
21shall prepare, make available to customers upon request, and
22post on its Internet web site information concerning the
23service obligations of water and sewer utilities and remedies
24that a customer may pursue for a violation of the customer's



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1rights. The information shall specifically address the rights
2of a customer of a water or sewer utility in the following
4        (1) The customer's water meter is replaced.
5        (2) The customer's bill increases by more than 50%
6    within one billing period.
7        (3) The customer's water service is terminated.
8        (4) The customer wishes to complain after receiving a
9    termination of service notice.
10        (5) The customer is unable to make payment on a billing
11    statement.
12        (6) A rate is filed, including without limitation a
13    surcharge or annual reconciliation filing, that will
14    increase the amount billed to the customer.
15        (7) The customer is billed for services provided prior
16    to the date covered by the billing statement.
17        (8) The customer is due to receive a credit.
18    Each billing statement issued by a water or sewer utility
19shall include an Internet web site address where the customer
20can view the information required under this subsection (a) and
21a telephone number that the customer may call to request a copy
22of the information.
23    (b) A water or sewer utility may discontinue service only
24on a day followed by a business day and after it has mailed or
25delivered by other means a written notice of discontinuance
26substantially in the form of Appendix A of 83 Ill. Adm. Code



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1280. The notice must include the Internet web site address
2where the customer can view the information required under
3subsection (a) and a telephone number that the customer may
4call to request a copy of the information. Any notice required
5to be delivered or mailed to a customer prior to discontinuance
6of service shall be delivered or mailed separately from any
7bill. Service shall not be discontinued until at least 5 days
8after delivery or 8 days after the mailing of this notice.
9Service shall not be discontinued and shall be restored if
10discontinued for the reason which is the subject of a dispute
11or complaint during the pendency of informal or formal
12complaint procedures of the Illinois Commerce Commission under
1383 Ill. Adm. Code 280.160 or 280.170, where the customer has
14complied with those rules. Service shall not be discontinued
15and shall be restored if discontinued where a customer has
16established a deferred payment agreement pursuant to 83 Ill.
17Adm. Code 280.110 and has not defaulted on such agreement.
18Residential customers who are indebted to a utility for past
19due utility service shall have the opportunity to make
20arrangements with the utility to retire the debt by periodic
21payments, referred to as a deferred payment agreement, unless
22this customer has failed to make payment under such a plan
23during the past 12 months. The terms and conditions of a
24reasonable deferred payment agreement shall be determined by
25the utility after consideration of the following factors, based
26upon information available from current utility records or



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1provided by the customer or applicant:
2        (1) size of the past due account;
3        (2) customer or applicant's ability to pay;
4        (3) customer or applicant's payment history;
5        (4) reason for the outstanding indebtedness; and
6        (5) any other relevant factors relating to the
7    circumstances of the customer or applicant's service.
8A residential customer shall pay a maximum of one-fourth of the
9amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the
10deferred payment agreement, and the water or sewer utility
11shall allow a minimum of 2 months from the date of the
12agreement and a maximum of 12 months for payment to be made
13under a deferred payment agreement. Late payment charges may be
14assessed against the amount owing that is the subject of a
15deferred payment agreement.
16    (b-5) In determining to discontinue a customer's service in
17response to a past due account, a water or sewer utility shall
18not consider a customer's bill, when paid in person, past due
19unless the payment is made after the due date printed on the
20bill. When a customer mails any payment in the net amount of a
21bill for service, the payment shall be considered past due if
22the payment is postmarked after the due date printed on the
23bill. The due date printed on the bill may not be less than 21
24days after the date upon which (i) the bill is mailed to the
25customer, (ii) the bill is delivered in person to the customer,
26(iii) the bill is sent electronically to the customer, or (iv)



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1the customer is notified that the bill is available
2electronically. The bill shall include a bill date that shall
3not be less than 21 days prior to the due date on the bill.
4    (c) A water or sewer utility shall provide notice as
5required by subsection (a) of Section 9-201 after the filing of
6each information sheet under a purchased water surcharge,
7purchased sewage treatment surcharge, or qualifying
8infrastructure plant surcharge. The utility also shall post
9notice of the filing in accordance with the requirements of 83
10Ill. Adm. Code 255. Unless filed as part of a general rate
11increase, notice of the filing of a purchased water surcharge
12rider, purchased sewage treatment surcharge rider, or
13qualifying infrastructure plant surcharge rider also shall be
14given in the manner required by this subsection (c) for the
15filing of information sheets.
16    (d) Commission rules pertaining to formal and informal
17complaints against public utilities shall apply with full and
18equal force to water and sewer utilities and their customers,
19including provisions of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.170, and the
20Commission shall respond to each complaint by providing the
21consumer with a copy of the utility's response to the complaint
22and a copy of the Commission's review of the complaint and its
23findings. The Commission shall also provide the consumer with
24all available options for recourse.
25    (e) Any refund shown on the billing statement of a customer
26of a water or sewer utility must be itemized and must state if



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1the refund is an adjustment or credit.
2    (f) Water service for building construction purposes. At
3the request of any municipality or township within the service
4area of a public utility that provides water service to
5customers within the municipality or township, a public utility
6must (1) require all water service used for building
7construction purposes to be measured by meter and subject to
8approved rates and charges for metered water service and (2)
9prohibit the unauthorized use of water taken from hydrants or
10service lines installed at construction sites.
11    (g) Water meters.
12        (1) Periodic testing. Unless otherwise approved by the
13    Commission, each service water meter shall be periodically
14    inspected and tested in accordance with the schedule
15    specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.340, or more frequently
16    as the results may warrant, to insure that the meter
17    accuracy is maintained within the limits set out in 83 Ill.
18    Adm. Code 600.310.
19        (2) Meter tests requested by customer.
20            (A) Each utility furnishing metered water service
21        shall, without charge, test the accuracy of any meter
22        upon request by the customer served by such meter,
23        provided that the meter in question has not been tested
24        by the utility or by the Commission within 2 years
25        previous to such request. The customer or his or her
26        representatives shall have the privilege of witnessing



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1        the test at the option of the customer. A written
2        report, giving the results of the test, shall be made
3        to the customer.
4            (B) When a meter that has been in service less than
5        2 years since its last test is found to be accurate
6        within the limits specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code
7        600.310, the customer shall pay a fee to the utility
8        not to exceed the amounts specified in 83 Ill. Adm.
9        Code 600.350(b). Fees for testing meters not included
10        in this Section or so located that the cost will be out
11        of proportion to the fee specified will be determined
12        by the Commission upon receipt of a complete
13        description of the case.
14        (3) Commission referee tests. Upon written application
15    to the Commission by any customer, a test will be made of
16    the customer's meter by a representative of the Commission.
17    For such a test, a fee as provided for in subsection (g)(2)
18    shall accompany the application. If the meter is found to
19    be registering more than 1.5% fast on the average when
20    tested as prescribed in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.310, the
21    utility shall refund to the customer the amount of the fee.
22    The utility shall in no way disturb the meter after a
23    customer has made an application for a referee test until
24    authority to do so is given by the Commission or the
25    customer in writing.
26    (h) Water and sewer utilities; low usage. Each public



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1utility that provides water and sewer service must establish a
2unit sewer rate, subject to review by the Commission, that
3applies only to those customers who use less than 1,000 gallons
4of water in any billing period.
5    (i) Water and sewer utilities; separate meters. Each public
6utility that provides water and sewer service must offer
7separate rates for water and sewer service to any commercial or
8residential customer who uses separate meters to measure each
9of those services. In order for the separate rate to apply, a
10combination of meters must be used to measure the amount of
11water that reaches the sewer system and the amount of water
12that does not reach the sewer system.
13    (j) Each water or sewer public utility must disclose on
14each billing statement any amount billed that is for service
15provided prior to the date covered by the billing statement.
16The disclosure must include the dates for which the prior
17service is being billed. Each billing statement that includes
18an amount billed for service provided prior to the date covered
19by the billing statement must disclose the dates for which that
20amount is billed and must include a copy of the document
21created under subsection (a) and a statement of current
22Commission rules concerning unbilled or misbilled service.
23    (k) When the customer is due a refund resulting from
24payment of an overcharge, the utility shall credit the customer
25in the amount of overpayment with interest from the date of
26overpayment by the customer. The rate for interest shall be at



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1the appropriate rate determined by the Commission under 83 Ill.
2Adm. Code 280.70.
3    (l) Water and sewer public utilities; subcontractors. The
4Commission shall adopt rules for water and sewer public
5utilities to provide notice to the customers of the proper kind
6of identification that a subcontractor must present to the
7customer, to prohibit a subcontractor from soliciting or
8receiving payment of any kind for any service provided by the
9water or sewer public utility or the subcontractor, and to
10establish sanctions for violations.
11    (m) Water and sewer public utilities; unaccounted-for
12water. By December 31, 2006, each water public utility shall
13file tariffs with the Commission to establish the maximum
14percentage of unaccounted-for water that would be considered in
15the determination of any rates or surcharges. The rates or
16surcharges approved for a water public utility shall not
17include charges for unaccounted-for water in excess of this
18maximum percentage without well-documented support and
19justification for the Commission to consider in any request to
20recover charges in excess of the tariffed maximum percentage.
21    (n) Rate increases; public forums. When any public utility
22providing water or sewer service proposes a general rate
23increase, in addition to other notice requirements, the water
24or sewer public utility must notify its customers of their
25right to request a public forum. A customer or group of
26customers must make written request to the Commission for a



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1public forum and must also provide written notification of the
2request to the customer's municipal or, for unincorporated
3areas, township government. The Commission, at its discretion,
4may schedule the public forum. If it is determined that public
5forums are required for multiple municipalities or townships,
6the Commission shall schedule these public forums, in locations
7within approximately 45 minutes drive time of the
8municipalities or townships for which the public forums have
9been scheduled. The public utility must provide advance notice
10of 30 days for each public forum to the governing bodies of
11those units of local government affected by the increase. The
12day of each public forum shall be selected so as to encourage
13the greatest public participation. Each public forum will begin
14at 7:00 p.m. Reports and comments made during or as a result of
15each public forum must be made available to the hearing
16officials and reviewed when drafting a recommended or tentative
17decision, finding or order pursuant to Section 10-111 of this
19(Source: P.A. 94-950, eff. 6-27-06.)
20    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
21becoming law.