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  S.B. No. 981
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to electric utility bill payment assistance programs for
  certain veterans burned in combat.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 36.061, Utilities Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  An electric utility located in a portion of this state
  not subject to retail competition may establish a bill payment
  assistance program for a customer who is a military veteran who a
  medical doctor certifies has a significantly decreased ability to
  regulate the individual's body temperature because of severe burns
  received in combat. A regulatory authority shall allow as a cost or
  expense a cost or expense of the bill payment assistance program.
  The electric utility is entitled to:
               (1)  fully recover all costs and expenses related to
  the bill payment assistance program;
               (2)  defer each cost or expense related to the bill
  payment assistance program not explicitly included in base rates;
  and
               (3)  apply carrying charges at the utility's weighted
  average cost of capital to the extent related to the bill payment
  assistance program.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter H, Chapter 39, Utilities Code, is
  amended by adding Section 39.359 to read as follows:
         Sec. 39.359.  BILL PAYMENT ASSISTANCE FOR BURNED VETERANS.
  (a)  A retail electric provider may establish a bill payment
  assistance program for a customer who is a military veteran who a
  medical doctor certifies has a significantly decreased ability to
  regulate the individual's body temperature because of severe burns
  received in combat.
         (b)  The commission shall compile a list of programs
  described by Subsection (a) that are available from retail electric
  providers. The commission shall publish the list on the
  commission's Internet website and the office shall provide on the
  office's Internet website a link to the list.
         (c)  A retail electric provider shall provide to the
  commission information necessary to compile the list in the form,
  manner, and frequency the commission by rule requires.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 182, Utilities Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter D to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER D.  BILL PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR BURNED VETERANS
         Sec. 182.201.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter, "electric
  cooperative" and "municipally owned utility" have the meanings
  assigned by Section 11.003.
         Sec. 182.202.  BURNED VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. (a)  The
  board of directors of an electric cooperative or the governing body
  of a municipally owned utility may establish a bill payment
  assistance program for a customer who is a military veteran who a
  medical doctor certifies has a significantly decreased ability to
  regulate the individual's body temperature because of severe burns
  received in combat.
         (b)  The costs of a bill payment assistance program
  established under Subsection (a) are considered a necessary
  operations expense.
         (c)  The board of directors of an electric cooperative or the
  governing body of a municipally owned utility may determine the
  method to fund a bill payment assistance program established under
  Subsection (a).
         SECTION 4.  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, 2013.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 981 passed the Senate on
  April 4, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 981 passed the House on
  May 20, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 2, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor