Penalties on water customers | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Penalties on water customers

House Bill Number: 
272

House Bill 272 allows a 10% late fee added to delinquent water bills each billing period, and prohibits the Public Service Commission from preventing utilities from assessing the penalty. A Senate committee amendment exempted customers who also quaifiy for LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) wile also prohibiting the governor from suspending late penalties during an emergency for any city-owned utility (water, sewer, electric).

The legislation was in response to the PSC finding that late penalties are harmful to consumers and do not significantly increase collections. See "KY regulators tell utilities to drop their late fees, but a lawmaker is pushing back."

Action alert from the Kentucky Resources Council

Bill Sponsor(s): 
Rep. Josh Bray and other Republicans

HB 272 was amended and approved by the House Local Government Committee on Feb. 11. It was passed by the full House, 70-25, on March 1.

In the Senate, bipartisan opposition during a Natural Resources & Energy Committee hearing led the sponsors to agree to stop pushing their bill and work with opponents on a modified version next year. However, Senate Republican leaders demanded an emergency committee meeting on March 16, where the bill was amended and passed committee. Because it had been fast-tracked, it went to a vote before the full Senate just a few hours later and passed the Senate, 25-10. The House then concurred with Senate changes, 71-23. See how legislators voted on HB 272.

HB 272 was vetoed by Gov. Beshear on March 23. The House (69-26) and the Senate (24-12) voted to override the governor's veto of HB 272 on March 29.

KFTC's Position: 
KFTC Opposes