CITIZENS’ UTILITY BOARD

A MODEL ACT TO CREATE A CITIZENS’ UTILITY BOARD



Sec. 1. Short Title.

Sec. 2. Findings and Purposes.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Creation of Corporation; Membership.

Sec. 5. Duties, Rights
and Powers of the Corporation.

Sec. 6. Notification of Impending Proceedings.

Sec. 7. Judicial Review of Regulatory Agency Decisions; Enforcement Actions.

Sec. 8. State-assisted Fundraising by the Corporation.

Sec. 9. Prohibited Acts.

Sec. 10. Board of Directors

Sec. 11. Duties of the Board of Directors.

Sec. 12. Appointment of Interim Board of Directors.

Sec. 13. Election of Directors.

Sec. 14. Qualifications of Candidates.

Sec. 15. Nomination.

Sec. 16. Statement of Financial Interests.

Sec. 17. Statement of Personal Background and Positions.

Sec. 18. Restrictions on and Reporting of Campaign Contributions and Expenditures.

Sec. 19. Election Procedures.

Sec. 20. Installation of Elected Candidates.

Sec. 21. Recall of Directors.

Sec. 22. Vacancies.

Sec. 23. Officers.

Sec. 24. Executive Director; Qualifications; Appointments; Duties.

Sec. 25. Annual Membership Meeting.

Sec. 26. Relationship to Existing Law and Policy.

Sec. 27. Corrupt Practices and Conflicts of Interest.

Sec. 28. Penalties.

Sec. 29. Construction.

Sec. 30. Severability.

Sec. 31. Effective Date.


 


Sec. 1. Short Title. –This Act may be cited as the
“Citizens’ Utility Board Incorporation Act of …”


Sec. 2. Findings and Purposes.


(a) FINDINGS . –The legislature finds that:


(1) individual action by residential consumers for the purposes of
participating in utility matters and communicating their views is rendered
impracticable by reason of the disproportionate expense of taking such
action;

(2) such participation and representation can be best secured by the creation
of a permanent, non-for-profit organization which is under the democratic
control of its membership, solely responsive to that membership’s goals, and
which is funded by voluntary contributions;


(3) the formation of such an entity by consumers acting voluntarily is
impeded because consumers have neither the resources nor an efficient mechanism
to contact all residential utility customers, raise initial funds and join such
an entity; and


(4) in order to create such an entity, it is necessary to establish a
democratically structured organization and to provide for the dissemination to
all customers of information as to the formation and purposes of such
organization and to provide an efficient means for joining and contributing to
such organization.


(b) PURPOSES. –It is the purpose of this Act–


(1) to assist in establishing adequate and affordable utility service to all
residential customers in order to preserve the health and general welfare of the
citizens of this state;


(2) to foster and encourage active citizen participation in utility matters
and to facilitate effective representation and advocacy of the interests of
residential utility consumers before regulatory agencies, the legislature, the
courts and other bodies; and for these purposes to create a permanent
not-for-profit organization;


(3) to create an efficient funding mechanism for the organization, involving
no compulsory burden whatsoever on the taxpayers of this State, whereby
residential utility consumers and others may voluntarily contribute to the
organization; and


(4) to ensure that public policies affecting the provision, quality and cost
of utility services fairly reflect the needs and concerns of those
consumers.


For these reasons there shall be established a not-for-profit Corporation
known as the “Citizens’ Utility Board, Inc.” with the responsibility to promote
adequate representation of residential utility consumers; to collect operating
funds; to assist in the redress of residential utility consumer complaints; and
to provide for residential utility consumer membership in such Corporation and
residential utility consumer direction of the actions of such Corporation.

Sec. 3. Definitions. –As used in this Act:


(a) “Utility company “, “public utility company “, “utility corporation” and
“public utility corporation ” mean a corporation or other entity engaged in the
business of supplying utility services to persons within this State if rates or
charges for such utility services have been established or are subject to
approval by a local, state or federal authority.


(b) “Utility services ” means electricity, water, natural gas, steam and
telephone services supplied by a public utility.


(c) “Residential utility consumer ” means any person in this State whose
residence is furnished with a utility service by a public utility company.


(d) “Regulatory agency ” means any local, state, or federal department,
commission, office, authority or other public body with the legal authority:


(1) to establish or alter rates or charges for the provision or sale of
utility services within this state;


(2) to plan or to approve, reject, or modify plans for the construction of
facilities for the production or provision of utility services within this
State;


(3) to formulate or review energy policies affecting this state; or

(4) otherwise to regulate the activities of utility companies doing business
within this State; provided that local, state and federal courts and legislative
bodies shall not be deemed to be “regulatory agencies” for the purposes of this
Act.


(e) “Formal proceeding ” means any formal meeting of a regulatory agency or
subdivision thereof, including a meeting conducted by an administrative law
judge or other agent of the regulatory agency, regarding:


(1) the establishment or alteration of rates or charges for the provision or
sale of utility services within this State;


(2) the establishment, abrogation, or amendment of rules or regulations, or
the investigation of or inquiry into activities and procedures of utility
companies, concerning residential utility consumers, public utility companies,
or energy policies affecting this State, or concerning the conduct of regulatory
agency proceedings themselves; or


(3) adjudication of the claims or petitions of residential utility consumers,
public utility companies, or other persons or groups of persons; or


(4) certification of the construction or operation of utility plants,
including pipelines and transmission lines.


(f) “State agency ” means any department, board, bureau, commission,
division, office, council, committee, officer, public benefit corporation or
authority, institution or entity of the executive branch of state
government.


(g) “Corporation ” means the Citizens’ Utility Board, Inc.


(h) “Member ” means any person who meets the requirements for membership in
the Corporation set forth in section four of this Act.

(i) “Director ” means any member of the Corporation duly elected or appointed
to the board of directors of the Corporation.


(j) “Utility district ” or “district ” means an area comprised of two
contiguous congressional districts as such congressional districts are described
in state law. The board of directors shall certify the boundaries of each
utility district no less than sixty days prior to the Corporation’s first
general election. In the event that an odd number of congressional districts are
created within the State, the board of directors shall have the authority to
determine how the additional congressional district shall be represented. In the
event that the boundaries or number of congressional districts are adjusted, the
board of directors shall recertify the boundaries of each utility district no
less than four months after such adjustment. The board member representing any
utility district whose boundaries are changed in such recertification, shall
resign within thirty days of such recertification and the vacancy shall be
filled pursuant to section twenty-one of this Act.


(k) ” Campaign expenditure” means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan,
advance, deposit or gift of money or anything of value, made for the purpose of
electing a candidate to the board of directors, or a contract, promise, or
agreement therefor.


(l) “Campaign contribution ” means money, goods, services, or other benefits
paid, made, loaned, given, conferred, or promised, including but not limited to,
use of office space, telephones, equipment, staff services and provisions of
meals, drinks, entertainment, services or transportation made for the purpose of
electing a candidate to the board of directors.


(m) The “immediate family ” of a person means the person and his or her
spouse and their dependents.


(n) “Enclosure ” means a card, leaflet, envelope or combination thereof
furnished by the Corporation under this section.


(o) “Mailing ” means any communication by a state agency that is sent through
the United States Postal Service to more than fifty thousand persons within a
twelve-month period.


Sec. 4. Creation of Corporation; Membership.

(a) There is hereby created a not-for-profit membership corporation to be
known as the “Citizens’ Utility Board, Inc.” herein referred to as the
Corporation.


(b) The membership of the Corporation shall consist of all residential
utility consumers sixteen years of age or older who have contributed to the
Corporation an annual membership fee at such times as shall be set by the board
of directors, provided, that any person may resign from membership.


Sec. 5. Duties, Rights and Powers of the
Corporation.


(a) The Corporation shall:


(1) Represent and promote the interests of the residential utility consumers
of this State. All actions by the Corporation under this Act shall be directed
toward such duty.


(2) Inform, insofar as possible, all residential utility consumers about the
Corporation, including the procedure for obtaining membership in the
Corporation.


(3) Establish annual membership fee which shall be set at a level that
provides sufficient funding for the Corporation to effectively perform its
powers and duties, and is affordable for as many utility consumers as is
possible, but nevertheless not less than five dollars.


(4) Have all rights and powers accorded generally to, and be subject to all
duties imposed generally upon, not-for-profit membership corporations under the
laws of this State.

(b) In addition, the Corporation shall have the following rights and
powers:


(1) To solicit and accept gifts, loans, grants or other aid in order to
support activities concerning the interests of residential utility consumers,
except that the Corporation may not accept gifts, loans or other aid from any
public utility or from any director, employee or agent or member of the
immediate family of a director, employee or agent of any public utility.


(2) To seek tax-exempt status under state and federal law.


(3) To conduct, support, and assist research, surveys, investigations,
planning activities, conferences, demonstration projects, and public information
activities concerning the interests of residential utility consumers. The
Corporation may accept grants, contributions and legislative appropriations for
such activities.


(4) To contract for services which cannot reasonably be performed by its
employees.


(5) To represent the interests of residential utility consumers before
regulatory agencies, legislative bodies and other public bodies.


(6) To initiate, to intervene as a party, to maintain, or to otherwise
participate on behalf of residential utility consumers in any proceeding which
affects the interests of residential utility consumers.


(7) To support or oppose ballot propositions concerning matters which it
determines may affect the interests of residential utility consumers.


(c) The Corporation shall have, in addition to the rights and powers
enumerated in this Act, such other incidental rights and powers as are
reasonably necessary for the effective representation and protection of the
interests of residential utility consumers.

(d) The Corporation shall not sponsor, endorse, or otherwise support, nor
shall it oppose, any political party or the candidacy of any person for public
office.


Sec. 6. Notification of Impending Proceedings.
–Each regulatory agency of this State as defined in subdivision (d) of
section three of this Act shall notify or cause notice to be given in the state
register, in advance of the time, place, and subject of each formal proceeding
of the regulatory agency, in which the Corporation may be eligible to
participate. The agency shall so notify or cause notice to be given to the
Corporation at least thirty days before the scheduled date of such proceeding or
within five days after the date and calendar for such proceeding is fixed,
whichever, is later. In addition, the agency shall give notice or cause notice
to be given within five days to the Corporation of any filed statement proposing
to modify or increase rates, services, schedule of rates or any other rating
rule or to adopt or amend any rate or service rule or regulations.


Sec. 7. Judicial Review of Regulatory Agency
Decisions; Enforcement Actions.
–The Corporation shall be deemed to have an interest sufficient to maintain,
intervene as of right in, or otherwise participate in any civil action,
proceeding or appeal for the review of enforcement of any regulatory agency
decision or action, or refusal to act, which the Corporation determines may
substantially affect the interests of residential utility consumers provided
that the Corporation participated at the regulatory agency decision level. If
the Corporation did not participate in the regulatory agency decision or action
at the agency level, the court may grant the Corporation the right to
participate in any civil action, proceeding or appeal if the interest of the
residential utility consumers is significantly affected.


Sec. 8. State-assisted Fundraising by the
Corporation.


(a) The Corporation shall have the authority to prepare and furnish to any
state agency an enclosure which the state agency shall include within any
mailing designated by the Corporation. The Corporation shall provide the agency
with any such enclosure at a time reasonably in advance of the mailing. The
Corporation may not require any state agency to mail an enclosure more than
[four times] in any calendar year.


(b) Enclosures furnished by the Corporation under this section shall be
limited to soliciting information and money from consumers and explaining:


(1) the purpose, history, nature, activities and achievements of the
Corporation;

(2) that the Corporation is open to membership by residential consumers;


(3) that the Corporation is not connected to any utility company or
governmental agency;


(4) that the Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation directed by its
consumer members;


(5) the procedure for contributing to or becoming a member of the
Corporation, and


(6) the yearly membership fee.


(c) Prior to furnishing an enclosure to a state agency for mailing, the
Corporation shall seek and obtain the approval of the [Public Service
Commission] of the content of the enclosure. The Commission shall approve the
enclosure if it determines that the enclosure (a) is not false or misleading,
and (b) contains and is limited to the information permitted by this section.
The Commission shall be deemed to have approved the enclosure unless it
disapproves the enclosure within fourteen days of receipt.


(d) The Corporation shall reimburse each state agency for all reasonable
incremental costs incurred by the state agency in complying with this section
above the agency’s normal mailing and handling costs, provided that:


(1) The state agency shall first furnish the Corporation with an itemized
accounting of such additional costs; and


(2) The Corporation shall not be required to reimburse the state agency for
postage costs if the weight of the Corporation’s enclosure does not increase the
cost of the state agency mailing. If the Corporation’s enclosure increases the
cost of the state agency mailing, then it will be required to reimburse the
state agency for postage cost over and above what the agency’s postage cost
would have been without the Corporation’s enclosure.

Sec. 9. Prohibited Acts.


(a) No public utility company or officer, employee, or agent of the public
utility company may interfere or threaten to interfere with or cause any
interference with the utility service of, or penalize or threaten to penalize or
cause to be penalized, any person who contributes to the Corporation or
participates in any of its activities, in retribution for such contribution or
participation.


(b) No person may act with intent to prevent, interfere with or hinder the
activities permitted under this Act.


(c) No person shall use any list of contributors to the Corporation, nor any
part of such list, for purposes other than the conduct of business of the
Corporation as prescribed in this Act. No person shall disclose any such list or
part thereof to any other person unless there is substantial reason to believe
that such list or part thereof is intended to be used for the lawful purposes
described in this Act. Any person who violates this subdivision shall be subject
to a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars.


Sec. 10. Board of Directors


(a) The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by a board of directors
consisting of one member from each utility district.


(b) The directors shall serve without salary, but each director may be
entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses. The board of
directors shall establish standard allowances for mileage, room and meals and
the purposes for which such allowances may be made and shall determine the
reasonableness and necessity for such reimbursements.


(c) The term of office for members of the board of directors shall be three
years and no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms. One third of
the directors first elected shall serve for a one-year term; one-third of such
directors shall serve a two-year term; and one-third of such directors shall
serve a full three-year term.

(d) No director nor members of his or her immediate family shall, either
directly or indirectly, be employed for compensation as a staff member or
consultant of the Corporation.


(e) Any director who shall handle, disburse, or receive money on behalf of
the Corporation shall be bonded. Such bond shall be a cost to the
Corporation.


Sec. 11. Duties of the Board of
Directors.–
The board of directors shall have the following duties:


(a) to establish the policies of the Corporation regarding appearances before
the [Public Service Department], other regulatory agencies, the courts, and
other public bodies, and regarding other activities which the Corporation has
the authority to perform under this Act;


(b) to maintain up-to-date membership rolls, and to keep them in confidence
to the extent required by the provisions of section nine of this Act;


(c) to keep minutes, books and records which shall reflect all the acts and
transactions of the board of directors which shall be open to examination by any
member during regular business hours;


(d) to make all reports, studies and other information compiled by the
Corporation pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of section five of this
Act, and all data pertaining to the finances of the Corporation, available for
public inspection during regular business hours;


(e) to maintain for inspection by the membership quarterly statements of the
financial and substantive operations of the Corporation, as prepared in
accordance with paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of section twenty-four of this
Act;

(f) to cause the Corporation’s books to be audited by a certified public
accountant at least once each fiscal year, and to make the audit available to
the general public;


(g) to prepare, as soon as practicable after the close of the Corporation’s
fiscal year, an annual report of the Corporation’s financial and substantive
operations to be made available for public inspection;


(h) to report to the membership at the annual membership meeting on the past
and projected activities and policies of the corporation. In addition, the
corporation shall sponsor on behalf of each director at least one meeting per
year in such director’s utility district;


(i) to employ an executive director and to direct and supervise his or her
activities;


(j) to hold regular meetings, including meetings by telephone conference, at
least once every three months on such dates and at such places as it may
determine. Special meetings may be called by the president of the board or by at
least one-quarter of the directors upon at least five days’ notice. One-half of
the directors plus one shall constitute a quorum. All meetings of the board of
directors and of its committees and subcommittees shall be open to the public.
Complete minutes of the meetings shall be kept; and


(k) to carry out all other duties and responsibilities imposed upon the
Corporation and the board of directors by this Act.


Sec. 12. Appointment of Interim Board of
Directors.


(a) Within ninety days after the effective date of this Act, an interim board
of directors shall be appointed by the governor, to serve until a board of
directors is first elected. If the number of members of the Corporation fails to
reach the level required by section thirteen of this Act within two years of the
appointment of the complete interim board of directors, the Corporation shall be
dissolved after having satisfied its debts, liabilities and obligations to the
extent possible from funds made available to the Corporation.

(b) The method of appointment of interim directors shall be as follows: three
shall be appointed by the governor, three shall be appointed by the governor
from a list containing no less than five names submitted by the president Pro
Tempore of the senate; three shall be appointed by the governor from a list
containing no less than five names submitted by the speaker of the assembly; one
shall be appointed by the governor from a list of not less than five names
submitted by the speaker of the assembly; one shall be appointed by the governor
from a list of not less than five names submitted by the minority leader of the
assembly. Individuals considered for appointment to the interim board shall have
the same qualifications as candidates for the board of directors pursuant to
section fourteen of this Act, and shall, to the extent possible, represent each
region of the State.


(c) The interim board of directors shall:


(1) As soon as possible after appointment, organize for the transaction of
business.


(2) Inform the residential utility consumers of this State of the existence,
nature and purpose of the Corporation, and encourage residential utility
consumers to join the Corporation, to participate in the Corporation’s
activities and to contribute to the Corporation.


(3) Elect officers.


(4) Employ such staff as the directors deem necessary to carry out the
purposes of this Act.


(5) Make all necessary preparations for the first election of directors,
oversee the election campaign and tally the votes.


(6) Solicit funds for the Corporation.


(7) Designate by a random method the length of the term of office of each
director position to be filled after the first election of directors.

(8) Carry out all other duties and exercise all other power accorded to the
board of directors under this Act.


Sec. 13. Election of Directors.


(a) Not more than sixty days after the membership of the Corporation reaches
twenty-five thousand persons with at least one hundred members in each district,
the interim board of directors shall set a date for the first general election
of directors and shall so notify every member. The date set for elections shall
be not less than four months nor more than eight months after such
notification.


(b) Each general election of directors other than the first election of
directors shall be held not less than eleven months and not more than thirteen
months after the last preceding general election. The date of such elections
shall be fixed by the board of directors at least four months in advance of the
date chosen for the election.


Sec. 14. Qualifications of Candidates.


(a) No present employee, director, consultant, attorney, accountant, real
estate agent, shareholder, bondholder of any public utility doing business in
this State and no employee of the [Public Service Commission] shall be eligible
to be a director. No director nor any candidate for the board of directors may
hold an elective public office or be a candidate for an elective public office
or be appointed to hold state office. These qualifications shall also apply to
immediate family members of persons enumerated above.


(b) To be eligible for election to the board of directors a candidate
must:


(1) meet the qualifications for candidates;

(2) be a member of the Corporation and a resident of the district which he or
she seeks to represent;


(3) submit a petition for nomination;


(4) submit a statement of financial interest and a statement of personal
background and position; and


(5) affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in the
statement of financial interest and personal background and position is true and
complete.


Sec. 15. Nomination.


(a) The interim board of directors and every subsequent board shall make
available for inspection by any member, upon request, a list of the current
members in that member’s district.


(b) A candidate for election to the board of directors shall circulate a
petition for nomination no sooner than one hundred twenty days preceding the
election and shall file the petition with the corporation no later than sixty
days prior to the election. The petition for nomination shall be signed by at
least one hundred of the corporation’s current members residing in the
candidate’s district. Upon receipt of a member’s nominating petition and
confirmation of the current membership of the candidate and confirmation of the
current membership of the individuals who signed such petition, the board of
directors shall certify that such member is a nominated candidate for the board
of directors.


Sec. 16. Statement of Financial Interests.

A candidate for election to the board of directors whose nomination is
certified shall submit to the board of directors, not later than sixty days
prior to the election, a statement of financial interests upon a form provided
by the board of directors. The statement of financial interests, which shall be
open for public inspection, shall include the following information:


(a) The occupation, employer and position at place of employment of the
candidate and of his or her immediate family members.


(b) A list of all corporate and organizational directorships or other
offices, and of fiduciary relationships, held in the past three years by the
candidate and by his or her immediate family members.


(c) Such other information as the board of directors shall require candidates
to disclose, which disclosure required of other public officials at the time and
shall be in the judgment of the board of directors in the best interests of the
Corporation.


(d) An affirmation, subject to penalty of perjury, that the information
contained in the statement of financial interests is true and complete.


Sec. 17. Statement of Personal Background and
Positions.
–A candidate for election to the board of directors shall submit to the
board of directors, not later than sixty days prior to the election, or a form
to be provided by the board of directors, a statement concerning his or her
personal background and positions on issues relating to regulated public
utilities or the operations of the Corporation. The statement shall contain an
affirmation, subject to penalty of perjury, that the information contained in
the statement of personal background is true and complete and that the candidate
meets the qualifications prescribed for directors.


Sec. 18. Restrictions on and Reporting of
Campaign Contributions and Expenditures
. —


(a) No candidate may incur more than two thousand dollars to campaign
expenditures from the time he or she commences circulation of petitions for
nomination or from four months prior to the election whichever is earlier,
through the date of the election.

(b) No candidate may accept more than two hundred fifty dollars in campaign
contributions from any one contributor during the year preceding the date of the
election.


(c) No candidate shall accept campaign contributions from a utility company,
public utility company, utility corporation, public utility corporation or any
organization supported with public funds.


(d) Each candidate for election to the board of directors shall keep complete
records of all contributions to his or her campaign of fifty dollars or more
made during the year preceding the date of the election. Such records shall be
available for inspection by the public.


(e) No earlier than the next day succeeding the election and no later than
thirty days after the election, each candidate shall submit to the board of
directors, on a form provided by the board of directors, an accurate statement
of his or her campaign contributions accepted and campaign expenses incurred,
and shall affirm to the board of directors, subject to penalty of perjury, that
he or she has fully complied with the requirements of this subdivision.


(f) If the board of directors determines that the candidates’s campaign
expenses have exceeded the limits contained in this section, the candidate shall
be disqualified and may be required to pay the expenses incurred by the
Corporation in mailing that candidate’s statement of personal background and
position. The Corporation may pursue all civil remedies to recover the cost of
mailing that candidate’s statement of personal background and position. In the
event of disqualification, the board of directors shall call a special election
to be held not fewer than four months and not more than six months after the
campaign contribution for any purpose except for campaign expenditures.


Sec. 19. Election Procedures.


(a) The board of directors shall send or have sent to each member, to be
post-marked no later than twenty days before the date fixed for a special or
general election, the following:


(1) an official ballot listing all candidates for the board of directors from
their district who have complied with the requirements of this Act;

(2) each such candidate’s statement of financial interests; and


(3) each such candidate’s statement of personal background and position.


(b) Each residential utility consumer who is a member of the Corporation on
the thirtieth day preceding a special or general election may cast a vote in
such election by returning his or her official ballot, properly marked, to the
principal office of the Corporation by eight p.m. of the date fixed for the
election. Voting shall be by secret ballot. The candidate receiving the greatest
number of votes in each district shall be declared elected.


(c) The board of directors may prescribe rules for the conduct of elections
and election campaigns not inconsistent with this Act.


Sec. 20. Installation of Elected Candidates.


The president of the board of directors shall install in office within thirty
days after the election all elected candidate who meet the qualifications
prescribed in this Act.


Sec. 21. Recall of Directors.


Upon receipt by the president of the board of directors of a petition to
recall any director, with the valid signatures of at least forty percent of the
members of the utility district the director represents, the board of directors
shall call a special election to be held not fewer than four months and not more
than six months after receipt of the petition, for the purpose of electing a
director to serve out the term of the recalled director; provided, that no
director may be recalled within six months of his or her election. A director
may become a candidate in an election following his or her own recall. A
director recalled shall continue to serve until the installation in office of
his or her successor.


Sec. 22. Vacancies. –When a director dies, resigns, is disqualified, or otherwise vacates his or
her office, except as provided in section twenty-one of this Act, the board of
directors shall select, within three months, a successor from the same district
as such director for the remainder of the director’s term of office. Any
director may nominate any qualified person as successor. The board of directors
shall select the successor from among those nominated, by a two-thirds majority
of the remaining directors present and voting. The successor shall be installed
in office by the president of the board of directors.

Sec. 23. Officers.


(a) At the first regular meeting of the board of directors at which a quorum
is present and subsequent to the initial appointments of directors, and at the
first regular meeting of the board of directors at which a quorum is present
subsequent to the installation of new directors following each annual election,
the board shall elect by majority vote of members present and voting from among
the directors a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer. The
board shall also have the power to elect a comptroller and such other officers
as it deems necessary.


(b) Officers shall be installed by the president immediately upon their
election. The term of office for officers shall be one year; provided that an
officer may resign, or may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of all
the directors. After an officer’s term of office has expired, the officer shall
continue to serve until his or her successor is installed.


(c) When an officer dies, resigns, is removed, or otherwise vacates his or
her office, the board of directors shall elect a successor to serve out such
officer’s term of office.


(d) The officers shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as are
prescribed by this Act or are delegated to them by the board of directors.


Sec. 24. Executive Director; Qualifications;
Appointments; Duties.


(a) The executive director hired by the board of directors shall have the
same qualifications as a candidate. The executive director may not be a
candidate for the board of directors while serving as executive director. The
by-laws of the Corporation shall provide a method for discharging the executive
director, but in no even shall such discharge occur unless one-half of the
directors plus one shall have consented to such discharge.


(b) The board of directors shall require all applicants for the position of
executive director of the Corporation to file a financial statement . The board
of directors shall require the executive director to file a financial statement
annually.

(c) The Executive director shall have the following duties:


(1) to implement the policies established by the board of directors;


(2) to employ and discharge employees of the Corporation;


(3) to supervise the offices, facilities and work of the employees of the
Corporation;


(4) to have custody of and maintain the books, records and membership rolls
of the Corporation;


(5) to prepare and submit to the board of directors annual and quarterly
statements of the financial and substantive operations of the Corporation, and
financial estimates for the operations of the Corporation;


(6) to attend and participate in meetings of the board of directors as a
non-voting director; and


(7) to exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as the board
of directors delegates.


Sec. 25. Annual Membership Meeting.


An annual meeting of the membership shall be held on a date and at a place
within the state to be determined by the board of directors. All members shall
be eligible to attend, participate in and vote at the annual membership meeting.
The meeting shall be open to the public.


Sec. 26. Relationship to Existing Law and
Policy.


(a) The not-for-profit corporation law applies to the Corporation; provided,
that if any provision of the not-for-profit corporation law conflicts with any
provision of this Act, the conflicting provision of the not-for-profit
corporation law shall not apply in such case. If any provision of this Act
relates to a matter embraced in the not-for-profit Corporation law but is not in
conflict therewith, both provisions shall apply.


(b) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the right of any
individual or group or class of individuals to initiate, intervene in, or
otherwise participate in any proceeding before any regulatory agency or court;
nor to require any petition or notification to the Corporation as a condition
precedent to such right, nor to relieve any utility agency, court or other
public body of any obligation, or affect its discretion to permit intervention
or participation by a consumer or group or class of consumers in any proceeding
or activity, nor to limit the right of any individual or individuals to obtain
administrative or judicial review.


(c) The intervention or participation of the Corporation in a proceeding or
activity shall not affect the obligation of any regulatory agency or other
public body to operate in the public interest.


Sec. 27. Corrupt Practices and Conflicts of
Interest.


(a) No person may offer or give anything of monetary value to any director,
employee or agent of the Corporation if the offer or gift influences, or is
intended to influence, the action or judgment of the director, employee or agent
of the Corporation in his or her capacity as director, employee or agent of the
Corporation.

(b) No director, employee or agent of the Corporation may solicit or accept
anything of monetary value from any person if their solicitation or acceptance
influences, or is intended to influence, the official action or judgement of the
director, employee or agent in his or her capacity as director, employee or
agent of the Corporation.


(c) Any person who knowingly and willfully violates this section shall be
subject to a civil penalty of not more than ten thousand dollars.


(d) The board shall remove from office any director, employee or agent
violating the provision of this section.


Sec. 28. Penalties. A violation of any provision of this Act pertaining to conduct by a utility
or officers or employees thereof shall be subject to a civil penalty of nor more
than ten thousand dollars for each violation.


Sec. 29. Construction. This Act, being necessary for the welfare of the state and its inhabitants,
shall be liberally construed to effect its purposes.


Sec. 30. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Act or the application
thereof be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such
judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder, and the
application thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause,
sentence, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in
which such judgment shall have been rendered.


Sec. 31. Effective Date. This Act shall become effective on the date of its enactment.

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