Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6729

Public Act No. 05-264

AN ACT CONCERNING OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL TO REPRESENT THE OFFICE OF CONSUMER COUNSEL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 16-6a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) The Department of Public Utility Control [is] and the Office of Consumer Counsel are authorized to participate in proceedings before agencies of the federal government and the federal courts on matters affecting utility services rendered or to be rendered in this state.

(b) For any proceeding before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the United States Department of Energy or the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or appeal thereof, the Attorney General, upon request of the department, may retain outside legal counsel in accordance with section 3-125 to participate in such proceedings on behalf of the department. All reasonable and proper expenses of such outside legal counsel shall be borne by the public service companies, certified telecommunications providers, electric suppliers or gas registrants that are affected by the decisions of such proceedings and shall be paid at such times and in such manner as the department directs, provided such expenses shall be apportioned in proportion to the revenues of each affected entity as reported to the department for purposes of section 16-49 for the most recent period, and provided further such expenses shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars per proceeding, including any appeals thereof, in any calendar year unless the department finds good cause for exceeding the limit and the affected entities have an opportunity, after reasonable notice, to comment on the proposed overage. All such legal expenses shall be recognized by the department as proper business expenses of the affected entities for rate-making purposes, as provided in section 16-19e, if applicable.

(c) For any proceeding before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Department of Justice or the Federal Communications Commission, or appeal thereof, the Attorney General, upon request of the Office of Consumer Counsel, may retain outside legal counsel in accordance with section 3-125 to participate in such proceedings on behalf of the office, provided the work performed on behalf of the office shall not include lobbying activities, as defined in 2 USC 1602. All reasonable and proper expenses of such outside legal counsel shall be borne by the public service companies, certified telecommunications providers, electric suppliers or gas registrants that are affected by the decisions of such proceedings and shall be paid at such times and in such manner as the office directs, provided such expenses shall be apportioned in proportion to the revenues of each affected entity as reported to the department for purposes of section 16-49 for the most recent period, and provided further such expenses shall not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars, including any appeals thereof, in any calendar year. The Department of Public Utility Control shall recognize all such legal expenses as proper business expenses of the affected entities for rate-making purposes, as provided in section 16-19e, if applicable.

Approved July 13, 2005