Rep. Joe Sosnowski

Filed: 3/13/2013





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 3104 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Illinois Municipal Code is amended by
5adding Section 11-117-12.3 and by changing Section 11-141-7 as
7    (65 ILCS 5/11-117-12.3 new)
8    Sec. 11-117-12.3. Discontinued water or sewer service. A
9water or sewer utility may discontinue service only on a day
10followed by a business day and after the water or sewer utility
11has mailed or delivered by other means a written notice of
13    (65 ILCS 5/11-141-7)  (from Ch. 24, par. 11-141-7)
14    Sec. 11-141-7. Powers. The corporate authorities of any
15municipality that owns and operates or that may hereafter own



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1and operate a sewerage system constructed or acquired under the
2provisions of any law of this state may make, enact, and
3enforce all needful rules, regulations, and ordinances for the
4improvement, care, and protection of its sewerage system and
5any other sewer or sewerage system, located outside the
6corporate boundary of the municipality and not owned by it,
7that directly or indirectly connects with the municipality's
8sewerage system, which may be conducive to the preservation of
9the public health, comfort, and convenience, and may render the
10sewage carried in the sewerage system of the municipality
11harmless in so far as it is reasonably possible to do so.
12    The corporate authorities of such a municipality may, by
13ordinance, charge the inhabitants thereof for the use and
14service of its sewerage system whether by direct or indirect
15connection therewith within or without the corporate boundary,
16and to establish charges or rates for that purpose. The
17corporate authorities of such a municipality may by ordinance
18charge the users thereof, whether they be inside of or outside
19of the municipality, for the use and service of its sewerage
20system whether by direct or indirect connection therewith,
21within or without the corporate boundary, and may establish
22charges or rates for that purpose, provided however that where
23such users are residents of another municipality with whom
24there is a contract for use and service of the sewerage system,
25then such charges or rates shall be made in accordance with the
26terms of the contract, either directly to the users or to the



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1contracting municipality as may be provided by the provisions
2of the contract. In making such rates and charges the
3municipality may provide for a rate to the outside users in
4excess of the rate fixed for the inhabitants of said
5municipality as may be reasonable. Where bonds are issued as
6provided in Sections 11-141-2 and 11-141-3, the corporate
7authorities shall establish rates or charges as provided in
8this section, and these charges or rates shall be sufficient at
9all times to pay the cost of operation and maintenance, to
10provide an adequate depreciation fund, and to pay the principal
11of and interest upon all revenue bonds issued under Sections
1211-141-2 and 11-141-3.
13    A depreciation fund is a fund for such replacements as may
14be necessary from time to time for the continued effective and
15efficient operation of the system. The depreciation fund shall
16not be allowed to accumulate beyond a reasonable amount
17necessary for that purpose, and shall not be used for
18extensions to the system.
19    Charges or rates shall be established, revised, and
20maintained by ordinance and become payable as the corporate
21authorities may determine by ordinance.
22    Such charges or rates are liens upon the real estate upon
23or for which sewerage service is supplied whenever the charges
24or rates become delinquent as provided by the ordinance of the
25municipality fixing a delinquency date. A lien is created under
26the preceding sentence only if the municipality sends to the



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1owner or owners of record, as referenced by the taxpayer's
2identification number, of the real estate (i) a copy of each
3delinquency notice sent to the person who is delinquent in
4paying the charges or rates or other notice sufficient to
5inform the owner or owners of record, as referenced by the
6taxpayer's identification number, that the charges or rates
7have become delinquent and (ii) a notice that unpaid charges or
8rates may create a lien on the real estate under this Section.
9However, the municipality has no preference over the rights of
10any purchaser, mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lien
11holder arising prior to the filing of the notice of such a lien
12in the office of the recorder of the county in which such real
13estate is located, or in the office of the registrar of titles
14of such county if the property affected is registered under "An
15Act concerning land titles", approved May 1, 1897, as amended.
16This notice shall consist of a sworn statement setting out (1)
17a description of such real estate sufficient for the
18identification thereof, (2) the amount of money due for such
19sewerage service, and (3) the date when such amount became
20delinquent. The municipality shall send a copy of the notice of
21the lien to the owner or owners of record of the real estate,
22as referenced by the taxpayer's identification number. The
23municipality has the power to foreclose this lien in the same
24manner and with the same effect as in the foreclosure of
25mortgages on real estate.
26    Except in counties with a population of more than 250,000



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1where the majority of the municipal sewerage system users are
2located outside of the municipality's corporate limits, the
3payment of delinquent charges for sewerage service to any
4premises may be enforced by discontinuing either the water
5service or the sewerage service to that premises, or both. A
6rate or charge is delinquent if the customer has not paid the
7balance within 30 days after the receipt of the bill it is more
8than 30 days overdue. Any public or municipal corporation or
9political subdivision of the State furnishing water service to
10a premises (i) shall discontinue that service upon receiving
11written notice from the municipality providing sewerage
12service that payment of the rate or charge for sewerage service
13to the premises has become delinquent and (ii) shall not resume
14water service until receiving a similar notice that the
15delinquency has been removed. A water or sewer utility may
16discontinue service only on a day followed by a business day
17and after the water or sewer utility has mailed or delivered by
18other means a written notice of discontinuance. The provider of
19sewerage service shall not request discontinuation of water
20service before sending a notice of the delinquency to the sewer
21user and affording the user an opportunity to be heard. An
22investor-owned public utility providing water service within a
23municipality that provides sewerage service may contract with
24the municipality to discontinue water service to a premises
25with respect to which the payment of a rate or charge for
26sewerage service has become delinquent. The municipality shall



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1reimburse the privately owned public utility, public or
2municipal corporation, or political subdivision of the State
3for the reasonable cost of the discontinuance and the
4resumption of water service, any lost water service revenues,
5and the costs of discontinuing water service. The municipality
6shall indemnify the privately owned public utility, public or
7municipal corporation, or political subdivision of the State
8for any judgment and related attorney's fees resulting from an
9action based on any provision of this paragraph.
10    The municipality also has the power, from time to time, to
11sue the occupant or user of that real estate in a civil action
12to recover money due for sewerage services, plus a reasonable
13attorney's fee, to be fixed by the court. However, whenever a
14judgment is entered in such a civil action, the foregoing
15provisions in this section with respect to filing sworn
16statements of such delinquencies in the office of the recorder
17and creating a lien against the real estate shall not be
18effective as to the charges sued upon and no lien shall exist
19thereafter against the real estate for the delinquency.
20Judgment in such a civil action operates as a release and
21waiver of the lien upon the real estate for the amount of the
23(Source: P.A. 93-500, eff. 6-1-04.)
24    Section 10. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
25Section 8-306 as follows:



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1    (220 ILCS 5/8-306)
2    Sec. 8-306. Special provisions relating to water and sewer
4    (a) No later than 120 days after the effective date of this
5amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, the Commission
6shall prepare, make available to customers upon request, and
7post on its Internet web site information concerning the
8service obligations of water and sewer utilities and remedies
9that a customer may pursue for a violation of the customer's
10rights. The information shall specifically address the rights
11of a customer of a water or sewer utility in the following
13        (1) The customer's water meter is replaced.
14        (2) The customer's bill increases by more than 50%
15    within one billing period.
16        (3) The customer's water service is terminated.
17        (4) The customer wishes to complain after receiving a
18    termination of service notice.
19        (5) The customer is unable to make payment on a billing
20    statement.
21        (6) A rate is filed, including without limitation a
22    surcharge or annual reconciliation filing, that will
23    increase the amount billed to the customer.
24        (7) The customer is billed for services provided prior
25    to the date covered by the billing statement.



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1        (8) The customer is due to receive a credit.
2    Each billing statement issued by a water or sewer utility
3shall include an Internet web site address where the customer
4can view the information required under this subsection (a) and
5a telephone number that the customer may call to request a copy
6of the information.
7    (b) A rate or charge is past due if the customer has not
8paid the balance of the bill within 30 days after the receipt
9of the bill. A water or sewer utility may discontinue service
10only on a day followed by a business day and after it has
11mailed or delivered by other means a written notice of
12discontinuance substantially in the form of Appendix A of 83
13Ill. Adm. Code 280. The notice must include the Internet web
14site address where the customer can view the information
15required under subsection (a) and a telephone number that the
16customer may call to request a copy of the information. Any
17notice required to be delivered or mailed to a customer prior
18to discontinuance of service shall be delivered or mailed
19separately from any bill. Service shall not be discontinued
20until at least 5 days after delivery or 8 days after the
21mailing of this notice. Service shall not be discontinued and
22shall be restored if discontinued for the reason which is the
23subject of a dispute or complaint during the pendency of
24informal or formal complaint procedures of the Illinois
25Commerce Commission under 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.160 or 280.170,
26where the customer has complied with those rules. Service shall



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1not be discontinued and shall be restored if discontinued where
2a customer has established a deferred payment agreement
3pursuant to 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.110 and has not defaulted on
4such agreement. Residential customers who are indebted to a
5utility for past due utility service shall have the opportunity
6to make arrangements with the utility to retire the debt by
7periodic payments, referred to as a deferred payment agreement,
8unless this customer has failed to make payment under such a
9plan during the past 12 months. The terms and conditions of a
10reasonable deferred payment agreement shall be determined by
11the utility after consideration of the following factors, based
12upon information available from current utility records or
13provided by the customer or applicant:
14        (1) size of the past due account;
15        (2) customer or applicant's ability to pay;
16        (3) customer or applicant's payment history;
17        (4) reason for the outstanding indebtedness; and
18        (5) any other relevant factors relating to the
19    circumstances of the customer or applicant's service.
20A residential customer shall pay a maximum of one-fourth of the
21amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the
22deferred payment agreement, and the water or sewer utility
23shall allow a minimum of 2 months from the date of the
24agreement and a maximum of 12 months for payment to be made
25under a deferred payment agreement. Late payment charges may be
26assessed against the amount owing that is the subject of a



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1deferred payment agreement.
2    (c) A water or sewer utility shall provide notice as
3required by subsection (a) of Section 9-201 after the filing of
4each information sheet under a purchased water surcharge,
5purchased sewage treatment surcharge, or qualifying
6infrastructure plant surcharge. The utility also shall post
7notice of the filing in accordance with the requirements of 83
8Ill. Adm. Code 255. Unless filed as part of a general rate
9increase, notice of the filing of a purchased water surcharge
10rider, purchased sewage treatment surcharge rider, or
11qualifying infrastructure plant surcharge rider also shall be
12given in the manner required by this subsection (c) for the
13filing of information sheets.
14    (d) Commission rules pertaining to formal and informal
15complaints against public utilities shall apply with full and
16equal force to water and sewer utilities and their customers,
17including provisions of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.170, and the
18Commission shall respond to each complaint by providing the
19consumer with a copy of the utility's response to the complaint
20and a copy of the Commission's review of the complaint and its
21findings. The Commission shall also provide the consumer with
22all available options for recourse.
23    (e) Any refund shown on the billing statement of a customer
24of a water or sewer utility must be itemized and must state if
25the refund is an adjustment or credit.
26    (f) Water service for building construction purposes. At



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



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



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1applies only to those customers who use less than 1,000 gallons
2of water in any billing period.
3    (i) Water and sewer utilities; separate meters. Each public
4utility that provides water and sewer service must offer
5separate rates for water and sewer service to any commercial or
6residential customer who uses separate meters to measure each
7of those services. In order for the separate rate to apply, a
8combination of meters must be used to measure the amount of
9water that reaches the sewer system and the amount of water
10that does not reach the sewer system.
11    (j) Each water or sewer public utility must disclose on
12each billing statement any amount billed that is for service
13provided prior to the date covered by the billing statement.
14The disclosure must include the dates for which the prior
15service is being billed. Each billing statement that includes
16an amount billed for service provided prior to the date covered
17by the billing statement must disclose the dates for which that
18amount is billed and must include a copy of the document
19created under subsection (a) and a statement of current
20Commission rules concerning unbilled or misbilled service.
21    (k) When the customer is due a refund resulting from
22payment of an overcharge, the utility shall credit the customer
23in the amount of overpayment with interest from the date of
24overpayment by the customer. The rate for interest shall be at
25the appropriate rate determined by the Commission under 83 Ill.
26Adm. Code 280.70.



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



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