Provides that bonds issued by the Long Island power authority must be authorized by a majority of the ratepayers of the authority by a public referendum after public hearing.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the authorization for bonds issued by the Long Island power authority
The purpose of this bill is to empower ratepayers to have some say in any further borrowing by their local power authority for which they will ultimately be responsible to pay through long-term increased rates.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends section 1020-k of Public Authorities Law by requiring that any new bonding shall be subject to a public referendum after public hearings in the affected counties.
Section 2 sets the effective date.
One of the purposes of the LIPA Reform Act of 2013 was to control the debt of the authority, which is currently at $7.8 billion. LIPA is now planning to issue new debt of approximately $300 to $400 million, per year, over each of the next four years. This would add $1.2 to $1.6 billion to its already staggering debt, which would fall squarely on the shoulders of LIPAs ratepayers, who are already burdened with the highest cost of living in the country. Given the extraordinary debt load and previous efforts to contain it, with varying degrees of success, any additional debt should only be taken on with informed public consent.
Immediately after the bill has become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4171 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 5, 2015 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the authori- zation for bonds issued by the Long Island power authority THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 1020-k of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 517 of the laws of 1986, is amended and a new subdivision 1-a is added to read as follows: 1.
[The]EXCEPT AS MAY BE OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, THE authority shall have power and is hereby authorized from time to time to issue its negotiable bonds in conformity with applicable provisions of the uniform commercial code for any purpose authorized by this title, including without limitation (a) to acquire any real or personal proper- ty or facilities deemed necessary by the authority, (b) to pay interest on bonds or notes of the authority, (c) to establish reserves to secure such bonds and notes, (d) to establish or maintain such other funds or accounts for such purpose or purposes as the authority may deem neces- sary or desirable, and (e) to pay all other expenses of the authority incident to the issuance of such bonds or notes. 1-A. ANY ISSUANCE OF BONDS BY THE AUTHORITY MUST BE AUTHORIZED BY A MAJORITY OF THE RATEPAYERS OF THE AUTHORITY BY A PUBLIC REFERENDUM AFTER AT LEAST ONE PUBLIC HEARING IN EACH OF THE AFFECTED COUNTIES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09738-01-5