Weekly Legislative Update

UPDATE for May 8–May 10, 2018

The legislative session ended this week, but the General Assembly passed a joint resolution allowing for several additional special sessions, the first of which is May 23-24. During those sessions, lawmakers can only consider a limited number of items, which include nuclear-related legislation, the budget, bills in conference committee, etc. We will be publishing a more in-depth overview of this resolution in the days ahead.

The conference committee on S.954 (which would impose a temporary electric rate hike suspension and delay the Public Service Commission’s V.C. Summer ruling till the end of the year) met this week without reaching any resolution. See our analysis of the House and Senate versions of this bill here.

H.4375 (which retroactively amends the Base Load Review Act) was amended and went to conference committee this week. H.4379 (which restructures the utility consumer advocate function) received second reading in the Senate, but must receive a third reading before the House gets a chance to vote on the changes made by the Senate. As the bill is related to the nuclear issue, it can be taken up when the legislature reconvenes in two weeks.

Elections for three seats on the Public Service Commission (PSC) were held this week. Lawmakers rejected the PURC’s entire slate of candidates for seat two, and elected Thomas Erwin in an overwhelming majority vote to seat four. Justin Williams was elected to seat six by acclamation.

We will be publishing an overview of significant bills that passed or failed soon, but one particularly noteworthy bill that passed both Houses is H.3136, a constitutional amendment to allow the governor to appoint the superintendent of education. This passed both the House and the Senate, and will now go to the voters in the November general election. This is one of the key elements of our reform agenda.

The General Assembly will reconvene May 23, 2018, to take up the budget, energy bills, etc.