Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3104
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Full Text of HB3104  98th General Assembly


Rep. Joe Sosnowski

Filed: 4/11/2013





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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 upon which (i) the bill is mailed to the
12customer, (ii) the bill is delivered in person to the customer,
13(iii) the bill is sent electronically to the customer, or (iv)
14the customer is notified that the bill is available
15electronically. The bill shall include a bill date that shall
16not be less than 21 days prior to the due date on the bill.
17    (65 ILCS 5/11-141-7)  (from Ch. 24, par. 11-141-7)
18    Sec. 11-141-7. Powers. The corporate authorities of any
19municipality that owns and operates or that may hereafter own
20and operate a sewerage system constructed or acquired under the
21provisions of any law of this state may make, enact, and
22enforce all needful rules, regulations, and ordinances for the
23improvement, care, and protection of its sewerage system and
24any other sewer or sewerage system, located outside the
25corporate boundary of the municipality and not owned by it,



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



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1authorities shall establish rates or charges as provided in
2this section, and these charges or rates shall be sufficient at
3all times to pay the cost of operation and maintenance, to
4provide an adequate depreciation fund, and to pay the principal
5of and interest upon all revenue bonds issued under Sections
611-141-2 and 11-141-3.
7    A depreciation fund is a fund for such replacements as may
8be necessary from time to time for the continued effective and
9efficient operation of the system. The depreciation fund shall
10not be allowed to accumulate beyond a reasonable amount
11necessary for that purpose, and shall not be used for
12extensions to the system.
13    Charges or rates shall be established, revised, and
14maintained by ordinance and become payable as the corporate
15authorities may determine by ordinance.
16    Such charges or rates are liens upon the real estate upon
17or for which sewerage service is supplied whenever the charges
18or rates become delinquent as provided by the ordinance of the
19municipality fixing a delinquency date. A lien is created under
20the preceding sentence only if the municipality sends to the
21owner or owners of record, as referenced by the taxpayer's
22identification number, of the real estate (i) a copy of each
23delinquency notice sent to the person who is delinquent in
24paying the charges or rates or other notice sufficient to
25inform the owner or owners of record, as referenced by the
26taxpayer's identification number, that the charges or rates



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1have become delinquent and (ii) a notice that unpaid charges or
2rates may create a lien on the real estate under this Section.
3However, the municipality has no preference over the rights of
4any purchaser, mortgagee, judgment creditor, or other lien
5holder arising prior to the filing of the notice of such a lien
6in the office of the recorder of the county in which such real
7estate is located, or in the office of the registrar of titles
8of such county if the property affected is registered under "An
9Act concerning land titles", approved May 1, 1897, as amended.
10This notice shall consist of a sworn statement setting out (1)
11a description of such real estate sufficient for the
12identification thereof, (2) the amount of money due for such
13sewerage service, and (3) the date when such amount became
14delinquent. The municipality shall send a copy of the notice of
15the lien to the owner or owners of record of the real estate,
16as referenced by the taxpayer's identification number. The
17municipality has the power to foreclose this lien in the same
18manner and with the same effect as in the foreclosure of
19mortgages on real estate.
20    Except in counties with a population of more than 250,000
21where the majority of the municipal sewerage system users are
22located outside of the municipality's corporate limits, the
23payment of delinquent charges for sewerage service to any
24premises may be enforced by discontinuing either the water
25service or the sewerage service to that premises, or both. A
26rate or charge is delinquent if it is more than 30 days



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1overdue. The due date printed on the bill may not be less than
221 days after the date upon which (i) the bill is mailed to the
3customer, (ii) the bill is delivered in person to the customer,
4(iii) the bill is sent electronically to the customer, or (iv)
5the customer is notified that the bill is available
6electronically. The bill shall include a bill date that shall
7not be less than 21 days prior to the due date on the bill. Any
8public or municipal corporation or political subdivision of the
9State furnishing water service to a premises (i) shall
10discontinue that service upon receiving written notice from the
11municipality providing sewerage service that payment of the
12rate or charge for sewerage service to the premises has become
13delinquent and (ii) shall not resume water service until
14receiving a similar notice that the delinquency has been
15removed. The provider of sewerage service shall not request
16discontinuation of water service before sending a notice of the
17delinquency to the sewer user and affording the user an
18opportunity to be heard. An investor-owned public utility
19providing water service within a municipality that provides
20sewerage service may contract with the municipality to
21discontinue water service to a premises with respect to which
22the payment of a rate or charge for sewerage service has become
23delinquent. The municipality shall reimburse the privately
24owned public utility, public or municipal corporation, or
25political subdivision of the State for the reasonable cost of
26the discontinuance and the resumption of water service, any



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1lost water service revenues, and the costs of discontinuing
2water service. The municipality shall indemnify the privately
3owned public utility, public or municipal corporation, or
4political subdivision of the State for any judgment and related
5attorney's fees resulting from an action based on any provision
6of this paragraph.
7    The municipality also has the power, from time to time, to
8sue the occupant or user of that real estate in a civil action
9to recover money due for sewerage services, plus a reasonable
10attorney's fee, to be fixed by the court. However, whenever a
11judgment is entered in such a civil action, the foregoing
12provisions in this section with respect to filing sworn
13statements of such delinquencies in the office of the recorder
14and creating a lien against the real estate shall not be
15effective as to the charges sued upon and no lien shall exist
16thereafter against the real estate for the delinquency.
17Judgment in such a civil action operates as a release and
18waiver of the lien upon the real estate for the amount of the
20(Source: P.A. 93-500, eff. 6-1-04.)
21    Section 10. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
22Section 8-306 as follows:
23    (220 ILCS 5/8-306)
24    Sec. 8-306. Special provisions relating to water and sewer



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



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1can view the information required under this subsection (a) and
2a telephone number that the customer may call to request a copy
3of the information.
4    (b) A water or sewer utility may discontinue service only
5on a day followed by a business day and after it has mailed or
6delivered by other means a written notice of discontinuance
7substantially in the form of Appendix A of 83 Ill. Adm. Code
8280. The notice must include the Internet web site address
9where the customer can view the information required under
10subsection (a) and a telephone number that the customer may
11call to request a copy of the information. Any notice required
12to be delivered or mailed to a customer prior to discontinuance
13of service shall be delivered or mailed separately from any
14bill. Service shall not be discontinued until at least 5 days
15after delivery or 8 days after the mailing of this notice.
16Service shall not be discontinued and shall be restored if
17discontinued for the reason which is the subject of a dispute
18or complaint during the pendency of informal or formal
19complaint procedures of the Illinois Commerce Commission under
2083 Ill. Adm. Code 280.160 or 280.170, where the customer has
21complied with those rules. Service shall not be discontinued
22and shall be restored if discontinued where a customer has
23established a deferred payment agreement pursuant to 83 Ill.
24Adm. Code 280.110 and has not defaulted on such agreement.
25Residential customers who are indebted to a utility for past
26due utility service shall have the opportunity to make



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



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1bill. When a customer mails any payment in the net amount of a
2bill for service, the payment shall be considered past due if
3the payment is postmarked after the due date printed on the
4bill. The due date printed on the bill may not be less than 21
5days after the date upon which (i) the bill is mailed to the
6customer, (ii) the bill is delivered in person to the customer,
7(iii) the bill is sent electronically to the customer, or (iv)
8the customer is notified that the bill is available
9electronically. The bill shall include a bill date that shall
10not be less than 21 days prior to the due date on the bill.
11    (c) A water or sewer utility shall provide notice as
12required by subsection (a) of Section 9-201 after the filing of
13each information sheet under a purchased water surcharge,
14purchased sewage treatment surcharge, or qualifying
15infrastructure plant surcharge. The utility also shall post
16notice of the filing in accordance with the requirements of 83
17Ill. Adm. Code 255. Unless filed as part of a general rate
18increase, notice of the filing of a purchased water surcharge
19rider, purchased sewage treatment surcharge rider, or
20qualifying infrastructure plant surcharge rider also shall be
21given in the manner required by this subsection (c) for the
22filing of information sheets.
23    (d) Commission rules pertaining to formal and informal
24complaints against public utilities shall apply with full and
25equal force to water and sewer utilities and their customers,
26including provisions of 83 Ill. Adm. Code 280.170, and the



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1Commission shall respond to each complaint by providing the
2consumer with a copy of the utility's response to the complaint
3and a copy of the Commission's review of the complaint and its
4findings. The Commission shall also provide the consumer with
5all available options for recourse.
6    (e) Any refund shown on the billing statement of a customer
7of a water or sewer utility must be itemized and must state if
8the refund is an adjustment or credit.
9    (f) Water service for building construction purposes. At
10the request of any municipality or township within the service
11area of a public utility that provides water service to
12customers within the municipality or township, a public utility
13must (1) require all water service used for building
14construction purposes to be measured by meter and subject to
15approved rates and charges for metered water service and (2)
16prohibit the unauthorized use of water taken from hydrants or
17service lines installed at construction sites.
18    (g) Water meters.
19        (1) Periodic testing. Unless otherwise approved by the
20    Commission, each service water meter shall be periodically
21    inspected and tested in accordance with the schedule
22    specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.340, or more frequently
23    as the results may warrant, to insure that the meter
24    accuracy is maintained within the limits set out in 83 Ill.
25    Adm. Code 600.310.
26        (2) Meter tests requested by customer.



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1            (A) Each utility furnishing metered water service
2        shall, without charge, test the accuracy of any meter
3        upon request by the customer served by such meter,
4        provided that the meter in question has not been tested
5        by the utility or by the Commission within 2 years
6        previous to such request. The customer or his or her
7        representatives shall have the privilege of witnessing
8        the test at the option of the customer. A written
9        report, giving the results of the test, shall be made
10        to the customer.
11            (B) When a meter that has been in service less than
12        2 years since its last test is found to be accurate
13        within the limits specified in 83 Ill. Adm. Code
14        600.310, the customer shall pay a fee to the utility
15        not to exceed the amounts specified in 83 Ill. Adm.
16        Code 600.350(b). Fees for testing meters not included
17        in this Section or so located that the cost will be out
18        of proportion to the fee specified will be determined
19        by the Commission upon receipt of a complete
20        description of the case.
21        (3) Commission referee tests. Upon written application
22    to the Commission by any customer, a test will be made of
23    the customer's meter by a representative of the Commission.
24    For such a test, a fee as provided for in subsection (g)(2)
25    shall accompany the application. If the meter is found to
26    be registering more than 1.5% fast on the average when



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1    tested as prescribed in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 600.310, the
2    utility shall refund to the customer the amount of the fee.
3    The utility shall in no way disturb the meter after a
4    customer has made an application for a referee test until
5    authority to do so is given by the Commission or the
6    customer in writing.
7    (h) Water and sewer utilities; low usage. Each public
8utility that provides water and sewer service must establish a
9unit sewer rate, subject to review by the Commission, that
10applies only to those customers who use less than 1,000 gallons
11of water in any billing period.
12    (i) Water and sewer utilities; separate meters. Each public
13utility that provides water and sewer service must offer
14separate rates for water and sewer service to any commercial or
15residential customer who uses separate meters to measure each
16of those services. In order for the separate rate to apply, a
17combination of meters must be used to measure the amount of
18water that reaches the sewer system and the amount of water
19that does not reach the sewer system.
20    (j) Each water or sewer public utility must disclose on
21each billing statement any amount billed that is for service
22provided prior to the date covered by the billing statement.
23The disclosure must include the dates for which the prior
24service is being billed. Each billing statement that includes
25an amount billed for service provided prior to the date covered
26by the billing statement must disclose the dates for which that



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1amount is billed and must include a copy of the document
2created under subsection (a) and a statement of current
3Commission rules concerning unbilled or misbilled service.
4    (k) When the customer is due a refund resulting from
5payment of an overcharge, the utility shall credit the customer
6in the amount of overpayment with interest from the date of
7overpayment by the customer. The rate for interest shall be at
8the appropriate rate determined by the Commission under 83 Ill.
9Adm. Code 280.70.
10    (l) Water and sewer public utilities; subcontractors. The
11Commission shall adopt rules for water and sewer public
12utilities to provide notice to the customers of the proper kind
13of identification that a subcontractor must present to the
14customer, to prohibit a subcontractor from soliciting or
15receiving payment of any kind for any service provided by the
16water or sewer public utility or the subcontractor, and to
17establish sanctions for violations.
18    (m) Water and sewer public utilities; unaccounted-for
19water. By December 31, 2006, each water public utility shall
20file tariffs with the Commission to establish the maximum
21percentage of unaccounted-for water that would be considered in
22the determination of any rates or surcharges. The rates or
23surcharges approved for a water public utility shall not
24include charges for unaccounted-for water in excess of this
25maximum percentage without well-documented support and
26justification for the Commission to consider in any request to



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1recover charges in excess of the tariffed maximum percentage.
2    (n) Rate increases; public forums. When any public utility
3providing water or sewer service proposes a general rate
4increase, in addition to other notice requirements, the water
5or sewer public utility must notify its customers of their
6right to request a public forum. A customer or group of
7customers must make written request to the Commission for a
8public forum and must also provide written notification of the
9request to the customer's municipal or, for unincorporated
10areas, township government. The Commission, at its discretion,
11may schedule the public forum. If it is determined that public
12forums are required for multiple municipalities or townships,
13the Commission shall schedule these public forums, in locations
14within approximately 45 minutes drive time of the
15municipalities or townships for which the public forums have
16been scheduled. The public utility must provide advance notice
17of 30 days for each public forum to the governing bodies of
18those units of local government affected by the increase. The
19day of each public forum shall be selected so as to encourage
20the greatest public participation. Each public forum will begin
21at 7:00 p.m. Reports and comments made during or as a result of
22each public forum must be made available to the hearing
23officials and reviewed when drafting a recommended or tentative
24decision, finding or order pursuant to Section 10-111 of this
26(Source: P.A. 94-950, eff. 6-27-06.)



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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.".