The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has favorably released S-3184, which would establish a “Resiliency and Environmental System Investment Charge Program.” The bill is now scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Monday, January 8.
The program would allow water and wastewater utilities to recover, outside of their rates, the cost of investment in certain non-revenue producing utility system components that enhance water and wastewater system resiliency, environmental compliance, safety, and public health.
While investment in these components is necessary and wise, utilities would be allowed to recover these costs outside of strict oversight from the Board of Public Utilities and Rate Counsel.
This will, undoubtedly, lead to increased water and wastewater bills for municipalities serviced by water or wastewater utilities. For this reason, the League opposes this legislation.
The Assembly counterpart, A-4791, was passed in the Assembly in December by a vote of 69-4. If passed in the Senate on Monday, the measure would head to Governor Murphy for his consideration.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x137.