Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3963
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Full Text of HB3963  99th General Assembly




State of Illinois
2015 and 2016


Introduced , by Rep. Joe Sosnowski


65 ILCS 5/11-150-2 new
70 ILCS 3705/7.4 new
70 ILCS 3710/5.3 new
70 ILCS 3715/6  from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 228
70 ILCS 3720/0.001b
220 ILCS 5/8-306

    Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act, a municipality may not retroactively bill for unaccounted-for water that predates by more than 2 years the installation of a new meter or repair of an existing meter. Amends the Public Water District Act, the Water Service District Act, the Water Authorities Act, the Water Commission Act, and the Public Utilities Act making similar changes. Effective immediately.

LRB099 09447 AWJ 29654 b






HB3963LRB099 09447 AWJ 29654 b

1    AN ACT concerning local government.
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
5Section 11-150-2 as follows:
6    (65 ILCS 5/11-150-2 new)
7    Sec. 11-150-2. Unaccounted-for water. On or after the
8effective date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General
9Assembly, the corporate authorities of any municipality
10operating a waterworks or combined waterworks and sewerage
11system may not retroactively bill a public or private user for
12unaccounted-for water that predates by more than 2 years the
13installation of a new meter or repair of an existing meter.
14    Section 10. The Public Water District Act is amended by
15adding Section 7.4 as follows:
16    (70 ILCS 3705/7.4 new)
17    Sec. 7.4. Unaccounted-for water. On or after the effective
18date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly, no
19public water district may retroactively bill for
20unaccounted-for water that predates the installation of a new
21meter or repair of an existing meter by more than 2 years.



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1    Section 15. The Water Service District Act is amended by
2adding Section 5.3 as follows:
3    (70 ILCS 3710/5.3 new)
4    Sec. 5.3. Unaccounted-for water. On or after the effective
5date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly, no
6water service district may retroactively bill for
7unaccounted-for water that predates the installation of a new
8meter or repair of an existing meter by more than 2 years.
9    Section 20. The Water Authorities Act is amended by
10changing Section 6 as follows:
11    (70 ILCS 3715/6)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 228)
12    Sec. 6. Such board of trustees shall have the following
14    1. To make inspections of wells or other withdrawal
15facilities and to require information and data from the owners
16or operators thereof concerning the supply, withdrawal and use
17of water.
18    2. To require the registration with them of all wells or
19other withdrawal facilities in accordance with such form or
20forms as they deem advisable.
21    3. To require permits from them for all additional wells or
22withdrawal facilities or for the deepening, extending or



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1enlarging existing wells or withdrawal facilities.
2    4. To require the plugging of abandoned wells or the repair
3of any well or withdrawal facility to prevent loss of water or
4contamination of supply.
5    5. To reasonably regulate the use of water and during any
6period of actual or threatened shortage to establish limits
7upon or priorities as to the use of water. In issuing any such
8regulation, limitation, or priority, such board shall seek to
9promote the common welfare by considering the public interest,
10the average amount of present withdrawals, relative benefits or
11importance of use, economy or efficiency of use and any other
12reasonable differentiation. Appropriate consideration shall
13also be given to any user, who has theretofore reduced the
14volume of ground water previously consumed by such user or who
15has taken care of increased requirements by installing and
16using equipment and facilities permitting the use of surface
17water by such user.
18    6. To supplement the existing water supply or provide
19additional water supply by such means as may be practicable or
20feasible. They may acquire property or property rights either
21within or without the boundaries of the authority by purchase,
22lease, condemnation proceedings or otherwise, and they may
23construct, maintain and operate wells, reservoirs, pumping
24stations, purification plants, infiltration pits, recharging
25wells and such other facilities as may be necessary to insure
26an adequate supply of water for the present and future needs of



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1the authority. They shall have the right to sell water to
2municipalities or public utilities operating water
3distribution systems either within or without the authority.
4    7. To levy and collect a general tax on all of the taxable
5property within the corporate limits of the authority, the
6aggregate amount of which for one year, exclusive of the amount
7levied for bonded indebtedness or interest thereon, shall not
8exceed .08 per cent of the value as equalized or assessed by
9the Department of Revenue. For the purpose of acquiring
10necessary property or facilities, to issue general obligation
11bonds bearing interest at the rate of not to exceed the maximum
12rate authorized by the Bond Authorization Act, as amended at
13the time of the making of the contract, and payable over a
14period of not to exceed 20 years, the aggregate principal
15amount of which at any one time outstanding shall not exceed
16one-half of 1% of the value as equalized or assessed by the
17Department of Revenue of all taxable property located within
18the corporate limits of the authority and to levy and collect a
19further or additional direct annual tax upon all the taxable
20property within the corporate limits of such authority
21sufficient to meet the principal and interest of such bonds as
22the same mature. They shall also have authority to issue
23revenue bonds payable solely out of anticipated revenues.
24    8. To consult with and receive available information
25concerning their duties and responsibilities from the State
26Water Survey, the State Geological Survey, the Board of Natural



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1Resources and Conservation, the Water Resources and Flood
2Control Board and any other board or commission of the State.
3Before constructing any facility for providing additional
4water supply, the plans therefor shall be submitted to and
5approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or its
6successor and all operations of such facilities shall be
7conducted in accordance with such rules and regulations as may
8from time to time be prescribed by the Pollution Control Board.
9    9. To have the right by appropriate action in the circuit
10court of any county in which such authority, or any part
11thereof, is located to restrain any violation or threatened
12violation of any of their orders, rules, regulations or
14    10. To provide by ordinance that the violation of any
15provision of any rule, regulation or ordinance adopted by them
16shall constitute a misdemeanor subject to a fine by the circuit
17court of not to exceed $50 for each act of violation and that
18each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.
19    11. To retroactively bill for unaccounted-for water.
20However, on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act
21of the 99th General Assembly no water authority may
22retroactively bill for unaccounted-for water that predates the
23installation of a new meter or repair of an existing meter by
24more than 2 years.
25    With respect to instruments for the payment of money issued
26under this Section either before, on, or after the effective



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1date of this amendatory Act of 1989, it is and always has been
2the intention of the General Assembly (i) that the Omnibus Bond
3Acts are and always have been supplementary grants of power to
4issue instruments in accordance with the Omnibus Bond Acts,
5regardless of any provision of this Act that may appear to be
6or to have been more restrictive than those Acts, (ii) that the
7provisions of this Section are not a limitation on the
8supplementary authority granted by the Omnibus Bond Acts, and
9(iii) that instruments issued under this Section within the
10supplementary authority granted by the Omnibus Bond Acts are
11not invalid because of any provision of this Act that may
12appear to be or to have been more restrictive than those Acts.
13(Source: P.A. 86-4.)
14    Section 25. The Water Commission Act of 1985 is amended by
15changing Section 0.001b as follows:
16    (70 ILCS 3720/0.001b)
17    Sec. 0.001b. Powers and duties. A water commission has the
18power and duty to:
19        (1) establish and define the responsibilities of the
20    commission and its committees;
21        (2) establish and define the responsibilities of the
22    commission's management and staff;
23        (3) establish a finance committee to conduct monthly
24    meetings to supervise staff's handling of financial



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1    matters and budgeting;
2        (4) require the finance director and treasurer to
3    report to the finance committee the status of all
4    commission funds and obligations;
5        (5) require the treasurer to report to the commission
6    any improper or unnecessary expenditures, budgetary
7    errors, or accounting irregularities;
8        (6) require commission staff to document and comply
9    with standard accounting policies, procedures, and
10    controls to ensure accurate reporting to the finance
11    committee and commission and to identify improper or
12    unnecessary expenditures, budgetary errors, or accounting
13    irregularities;
14        (7) require the commission's finance director to
15    provide monthly reports regarding the commission's cash
16    and investment position including whether the commission
17    has sufficient cash and investments to pay its debt
18    service, operating expenses, and capital expenditures and
19    maintain required reserve levels. The information shall
20    include the required funding levels for restricted funds
21    and unrestricted cash and investment balances with
22    comparisons to unrestricted reserves. The information
23    shall also include the type and performance of the
24    commission's investments and description as to whether
25    those investments are in compliance with the commission's
26    investment policies;



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1        (8) require the commission's finance director to
2    provide the commission with detailed information
3    concerning the commission's operating performance
4    including the budgeted and actual monthly amounts for water
5    sales, water costs, and other operating expenses;
6        (9) require commission staff to provide the commission
7    with detailed information regarding the progress of
8    capital projects including whether the percentage of
9    completion and costs incurred are timely;
10        (10) require the commission's staff accountant to
11    perform bank reconciliations and general ledger account
12    reconciliations on a monthly basis; the finance director
13    shall review these reconciliations and provide them to the
14    treasurer and the finance committee on a monthly basis;
15        (l1) establish policies to ensure the proper
16    segregation of the financial duties performed by
17    employees;
18        (12) restrict access to the established accounting
19    systems and general ledger systems and provide for adequate
20    segregation of duties so that no single person has sole
21    access and control over the accounting system or the
22    general ledger system;
23        (13) require that the finance director review and
24    approve all manual journal entries and supporting
25    documentation; the treasurer shall review and approve the
26    finance director's review and approval of manual journal



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1    entries and supporting documentation;
2        (14) require that the finance director closely monitor
3    the progress of construction projects;
4        (15) require that the finance director carefully
5    document any GAAP analysis or communications with GASB and
6    provide full and timely reports for the same to the finance
7    committee; and
8        (16) retain an outside independent auditor to perform a
9    comprehensive audit of the water commission's financial
10    activities for each fiscal year in conformance with the
11    standard practices of the Association of Governmental
12    Auditors; within 30 days after the independent audit is
13    completed, the results of the audit must be sent to the
14    county auditor; and .
15        (17) to retroactively bill for unaccounted-for water.
16    However, on or after the effective date of this amendatory
17    Act of the 99th General Assembly no water commission may
18    retroactively bill for unaccounted-for water that predates
19    the installation of a new meter or repair of an existing
20    meter by more than 2 years.
21(Source: P.A. 96-1389, eff. 7-29-10.)
22    Section 30. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
23Section 8-306 as follows:
24    (220 ILCS 5/8-306)



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



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1shall include an Internet web site address where the customer
2can view the information required under this subsection (a) and
3a telephone number that the customer may call to request a copy
4of the information.
5    (b) A water or sewer utility may discontinue service only
6after it has mailed or delivered by other means a written
7notice of discontinuance substantially in the form of Appendix
8A of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280. The notice must include the
9Internet web site address where the customer can view the
10information required under subsection (a) and a telephone
11number that the customer may call to request a copy of the
12information. Any notice required to be delivered or mailed to a
13customer prior to discontinuance of service shall be delivered
14or mailed separately from any bill. Service shall not be
15discontinued until at least 5 days after delivery or 8 days
16after the mailing of this notice. Service shall not be
17discontinued and shall be restored if discontinued for the
18reason which is the subject of a dispute or complaint during
19the pendency of informal or formal complaint procedures of the
20Illinois Commerce Commission under 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.160 or
21280.170, where the customer has complied with those rules.
22Service shall not be discontinued and shall be restored if
23discontinued where a customer has established a deferred
24payment agreement pursuant to 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.110 and has
25not defaulted on such agreement. Residential customers who are
26indebted to a utility for past due utility service shall have



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1the opportunity to make arrangements with the utility to retire
2the debt by periodic payments, referred to as a deferred
3payment agreement, unless this customer has failed to make
4payment under such a plan during the past 12 months. The terms
5and conditions of a reasonable deferred payment agreement shall
6be determined by the utility after consideration of the
7following factors, based upon information available from
8current utility records or provided by the customer or
10        (1) size of the past due account;
11        (2) customer or applicant's ability to pay;
12        (3) customer or applicant's payment history;
13        (4) reason for the outstanding indebtedness; and
14        (5) any other relevant factors relating to the
15    circumstances of the customer or applicant's service.
16A residential customer shall pay a maximum of one-fourth of the
17amount past due and owing at the time of entering into the
18deferred payment agreement, and the water or sewer utility
19shall allow a minimum of 2 months from the date of the
20agreement and a maximum of 12 months for payment to be made
21under a deferred payment agreement. Late payment charges may be
22assessed against the amount owing that is the subject of a
23deferred payment agreement.
24    (c) A water or sewer utility shall provide notice as
25required by subsection (a) of Section 9-201 after the filing of
26each information sheet under a purchased water surcharge,



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



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



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



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



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



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1within approximately 45 minutes drive time of the
2municipalities or townships for which the public forums have
3been scheduled. The public utility must provide advance notice
4of 30 days for each public forum to the governing bodies of
5those units of local government affected by the increase. The
6day of each public forum shall be selected so as to encourage
7the greatest public participation. Each public forum will begin
8at 7:00 p.m. Reports and comments made during or as a result of
9each public forum must be made available to the hearing
10officials and reviewed when drafting a recommended or tentative
11decision, finding or order pursuant to Section 10-111 of this
13    (o) On or after the effective date of this amendatory Act
14of the 99th General Assembly, no public utility may
15retroactively bill a consumer or patron for unaccounted-for
16water that predates by more than 2 years the installation of a
17new meter or repair of an existing meter.
18(Source: P.A. 94-950, eff. 6-27-06.)
19    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
20becoming law.