Electric utilities; electric school bus projects. (SB1096)

Introduced By

Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Electric utilities; electric school bus projects. Authorizes Dominion Energy Virginia to implement projects designed to encourage the proliferation of school buses that are fueled in whole or in part by electricity, along with associated charging and other infrastructure, for the purpose of transporting students and that may also serve as electric grid stabilization or peak shaving resources. Under an electric school bus project, Dominion Energy Virginia may (i) purchase, own, manage, or control electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; (ii) enter into third-party agreements for the purchase, lease, or use of electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; (iii) enter into agreements with any school board of any public school division located in the Commonwealth for joint ownership of or for leasing on commercially competitive terms of electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; (iv) provide financial incentives or rebates to any school board to promote or facilitate the purchase and ownership by such public school board of electric school buses, along with associated charging or other infrastructure; and (v) engage in other activities to promote the development and proliferation of electric school bus transportation in the Commonwealth. The bill also provides a tax exemption for electric school buses and associated charging and other infrastructure that is related or incidental to an authorized electric school bus project. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
03/05/2020Unanimous consent to introduce
03/05/2020Presented and ordered printed 20109713D
03/05/2020Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
03/05/2020Reported from Commerce and Labor (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Read first time
03/05/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Engrossed by Senate
03/05/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2020Passed Senate (33-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2020Placed on Calendar
03/07/2020Read first time
03/07/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
03/07/2020Reported from Labor and Commerce with substitute (14-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
03/07/2020Committee substitute printed 20109936D-H1
03/08/2020Read second time
03/11/2020Impact statement from SCC (SB1096)
03/12/2020Passed by for the day
03/12/2020No further action taken
03/12/2020Failed to pass in Senate

Comments

Irene Leech writes:

This bill would not only give Dominion noncompetitive permission to replace buses (how do we know their deal is the best one?) but it would guarantee Dominion stockholders a new and ongoing source of earnings. This is expanding the business of an entity that is not subject to the competitive market.
The original bill was voted down twice. This is an end run around the legislative process and even removes the “Pilot” program, making it permanent.
Doesn’t seem fair to localities (school systems), rate payers, or potential competitive providers.
In the competitive market we expect that risk and reward are linked. In this and other deals pushed through the General Assembly, Dominion has gotten the legislature to tell the regulator (SCC) to approve the project and the high earnings, even if its analysis reveals its not a good deal for rate payers. It’s high earnings for little/no risk to the company. Rate payers and localities carry the risk and pay the reward.
All it does is further enshrine Dominion as a big earning monopoly – giving it control in yet another aspect of Virginia’s economy.

Irene Leech writes:

Clarifying: The bill says that the deals with local school systems will be at competitive rates. However, it also provides the company with tax credits and the guarantee that rate payers will cover the costs, advantages other competitors won't have. It won't really be a competitive situation.