S.B. No. 1153
  relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas
  to participate in certain proceedings before the Federal Energy
  Regulatory Commission.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter J, Chapter 39, Utilities Code, is
  amended by adding Section 39.4525 to read as follows:
  (a)  The commission may retain any consultant, accountant,
  auditor, engineer, or attorney the commission considers necessary
  to represent the commission in a proceeding before the Federal
  Energy Regulatory Commission, or before a court reviewing
  proceedings of that federal commission, related to:
               (1)  the relationship of an electric utility subject to
  this subchapter to a power region, regional transmission
  organization, or independent system operator; or
               (2)  the approval of an agreement among the electric
  utility and the electric utility's affiliates concerning the
  coordination of the operations of the electric utility and the
  electric utility's affiliates.
         (b)  Assistance for which a consultant, accountant, auditor,
  engineer, or attorney may be retained under Subsection (a) may
               (1)  conducting a study;
               (2)  conducting an investigation;
               (3)  presenting evidence;
               (4)  advising the commission; or
               (5)  representing the commission.
         (c)  The electric utility shall pay timely the reasonable
  costs of the services of a person retained under Subsection (a), as
  determined by the commission. The total costs an electric utility
  is required to pay under this subsection may not exceed $1.5 million
  in a 12-month period.
         (d)  The commission shall allow the electric utility to
  recover both the total costs the electric utility paid under
  Subsection (c) and the carrying charges for those costs through a
  rider established annually to recover the costs paid and carrying
  charges incurred during the preceding calendar year.  The rider may
  not be implemented before the rider is reviewed and approved by the
         (e)  The commission shall consult the attorney general
  before the commission retains a consultant, accountant, auditor, or
  engineer under Subsection (a). The retention of an attorney under
  Subsection (a) is subject to the approval of the attorney general
  under Section 402.0212, Government Code.
         (f)  The commission shall be precluded from engaging any
  individual who is required to register under Section 305.003,
  Government Code.
         (g)  This section expires December 31, 2017.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1153 passed the Senate on
  April 7, 2011, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 9, 2011, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1153 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 5, 2011, by the following vote: Yeas 146,
  Nays 0, two present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House