Rep. Joe Sosnowski

Filed: 4/2/2013





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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 Sections 11-117-12.3 and 11-117-12.5 and by changing
6Section 11-141-7 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)



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1    Sec. 11-117-12.5. Calculating past due bills. Any
2investor-owned public utility, municipal-owned public utility,
3public or municipal corporation, or political subdivision
4furnishing water or sewer service shall not consider a
5customer's bill, when paid in person, past due unless the
6payment is made after the due date printed on the bill. When a
7customer mails any payment in the net amount of a bill for
8service, the payment shall be considered past due if the
9payment is postmarked after the due date printed on the bill.
10The due date printed on the bill may not be less than 21 days
11after the date of the postmark on the bill the customer
12receives, if mailed, or the date of delivery as shown on the
13bill, if delivered by other means.
14    (65 ILCS 5/11-141-7)  (from Ch. 24, par. 11-141-7)
15    Sec. 11-141-7. Powers. The corporate authorities of any
16municipality that owns and operates or that may hereafter own
17and operate a sewerage system constructed or acquired under the
18provisions of any law of this state may make, enact, and
19enforce all needful rules, regulations, and ordinances for the
20improvement, care, and protection of its sewerage system and
21any other sewer or sewerage system, located outside the
22corporate boundary of the municipality and not owned by it,
23that directly or indirectly connects with the municipality's
24sewerage system, which may be conducive to the preservation of
25the public health, comfort, and convenience, and may render the



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1sewage carried in the sewerage system of the municipality
2harmless in so far as it is reasonably possible to do so.
3    The corporate authorities of such a municipality may, by
4ordinance, charge the inhabitants thereof for the use and
5service of its sewerage system whether by direct or indirect
6connection therewith within or without the corporate boundary,
7and to establish charges or rates for that purpose. The
8corporate authorities of such a municipality may by ordinance
9charge the users thereof, whether they be inside of or outside
10of the municipality, for the use and service of its sewerage
11system whether by direct or indirect connection therewith,
12within or without the corporate boundary, and may establish
13charges or rates for that purpose, provided however that where
14such users are residents of another municipality with whom
15there is a contract for use and service of the sewerage system,
16then such charges or rates shall be made in accordance with the
17terms of the contract, either directly to the users or to the
18contracting municipality as may be provided by the provisions
19of the contract. In making such rates and charges the
20municipality may provide for a rate to the outside users in
21excess of the rate fixed for the inhabitants of said
22municipality as may be reasonable. Where bonds are issued as
23provided in Sections 11-141-2 and 11-141-3, the corporate
24authorities shall establish rates or charges as provided in
25this section, and these charges or rates shall be sufficient at
26all times to pay the cost of operation and maintenance, to



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1provide an adequate depreciation fund, and to pay the principal
2of and interest upon all revenue bonds issued under Sections
311-141-2 and 11-141-3.
4    A depreciation fund is a fund for such replacements as may
5be necessary from time to time for the continued effective and
6efficient operation of the system. The depreciation fund shall
7not be allowed to accumulate beyond a reasonable amount
8necessary for that purpose, and shall not be used for
9extensions to the system.
10    Charges or rates shall be established, revised, and
11maintained by ordinance and become payable as the corporate
12authorities may determine by ordinance.
13    Such charges or rates are liens upon the real estate upon
14or for which sewerage service is supplied whenever the charges
15or rates become delinquent as provided by the ordinance of the
16municipality fixing a delinquency date. A lien is created under
17the preceding sentence only if the municipality sends to the
18owner or owners of record, as referenced by the taxpayer's
19identification number, of the real estate (i) a copy of each
20delinquency notice sent to the person who is delinquent in
21paying the charges or rates or other notice sufficient to
22inform the owner or owners of record, as referenced by the
23taxpayer's identification number, that the charges or rates
24have become delinquent and (ii) a notice that unpaid charges or
25rates may create a lien on the real estate under this Section.
26However, the municipality has no preference over the rights of



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1any purchaser, mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lien
2holder arising prior to the filing of the notice of such a lien
3in the office of the recorder of the county in which such real
4estate is located, or in the office of the registrar of titles
5of such county if the property affected is registered under "An
6Act concerning land titles", approved May 1, 1897, as amended.
7This notice shall consist of a sworn statement setting out (1)
8a description of such real estate sufficient for the
9identification thereof, (2) the amount of money due for such
10sewerage service, and (3) the date when such amount became
11delinquent. The municipality shall send a copy of the notice of
12the lien to the owner or owners of record of the real estate,
13as referenced by the taxpayer's identification number. The
14municipality has the power to foreclose this lien in the same
15manner and with the same effect as in the foreclosure of
16mortgages on real estate.
17    Except in counties with a population of more than 250,000
18where the majority of the municipal sewerage system users are
19located outside of the municipality's corporate limits, the
20payment of delinquent charges for sewerage service to any
21premises may be enforced by discontinuing either the water
22service or the sewerage service to that premises, or both. A
23rate or charge is delinquent if it is more than 30 days
24overdue. The due date printed on the bill may not be less than
2521 days after the date of the postmark on the bill the customer
26receives, if mailed, or the date of delivery as shown on the



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



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



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



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1            (B) When a meter that has been in service less than
2        2 years since its last test is found to be accurate
3        within the limits specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code
4        600.310, the customer shall pay a fee to the utility
5        not to exceed the amounts specified in 83 Ill. Adm.
6        Code 600.350(b). Fees for testing meters not included
7        in this Section or so located that the cost will be out
8        of proportion to the fee specified will be determined
9        by the Commission upon receipt of a complete
10        description of the case.
11        (3) Commission referee tests. Upon written application
12    to the Commission by any customer, a test will be made of
13    the customer's meter by a representative of the Commission.
14    For such a test, a fee as provided for in subsection (g)(2)
15    shall accompany the application. If the meter is found to
16    be registering more than 1.5% fast on the average when
17    tested as prescribed in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.310, the
18    utility shall refund to the customer the amount of the fee.
19    The utility shall in no way disturb the meter after a
20    customer has made an application for a referee test until
21    authority to do so is given by the Commission or the
22    customer in writing.
23    (h) Water and sewer utilities; low usage. Each public
24utility that provides water and sewer service must establish a
25unit sewer rate, subject to review by the Commission, that
26applies only to those customers who use less than 1,000 gallons



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



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



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