§ 39-1-23. Administrative expenses Assessment against utilities.
(a) The administrator shall aggregate the expenses of the division, including expenses incurred by the attorney general pursuant to § 39-1-19 and expenses incurred by the commission, for each upcoming fiscal year and shall apportion and assess these expenses among the state's regulated utilities based upon approved budgets. When submitting the budget, the budget office shall clearly indicate the revenues from assessments. Included within this prospective assessment, shall be those expenses expected to be incurred by the attorney general pursuant to § 39-1-19 for the upcoming fiscal year. The expenses anticipated by the attorney general and the commission for each upcoming fiscal year shall be communicated to the administrator within thirty (30) days of request by the administrator. The administrator shall thereupon apportion and assess one hundred percent (100%) of such expenses among the several public utility companies and common carriers located in this state in the proportion that the gross, intrastate-utility-operating revenues of each public utility company and common carrier shall bear to the total, gross-intrastate-utility operating revenues for the last preceding fiscal year of all public utility companies and common carriers; provided, however, that any public utility or common carrier, whose gross, intrastate revenues in any fiscal year as reported to the administrator do not exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), shall not be subject to the assessment under the provisions hereof; and, provided further, that all motor carriers subject to the provisions of chapters 12 and 14 of this title shall not be subject to the assessment under the provisions hereof. The sum so apportioned and assessed shall be in addition to any taxes payable to the state under any other provision of law. The assessments shall be divided between the commission and the division based upon the approved budgets.
(b) The administrator shall apply any budgetary balance or shortfalls remaining from a prior, annual assessment toward the next upcoming fiscal-year assessment to the division or the commission as appropriate.
(c) Upon collection from the several public utility companies and common carriers operating in this state, assessments and any state appropriations shall be deposited in an account to be known as the public utilities commission funding account. This fund shall be a restricted receipt account and shall be kept by the general treasurer separately and shall be paid out by the general treasurer only upon receipt of properly authenticated vouchers signed by the administrator, or his or her designee, for the division's share of the account. The same procedure shall be followed for the commission, except that such vouchers shall be signed by the commission chairperson, or his or her designee. The general treasurer shall provide for separate accounting of the division and commission budget and expenses. The moneys in the public-utilities fund shall be expended by the administrator or the commission, as appropriate for meeting the expenses of the operation of the commission, the division, and those expenses incurred by the attorney general, pursuant to § 39-1-19.
(d) The legislature may appropriate from the general funds such sums as are necessary for the regulation of public utilities.
(G.L. 1938, ch. 122, § 63; P.L. 1955, ch. 3436, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 39-1-14; G.L. 1956, § 39-1-23; P.L. 1969, ch. 240, § 1; P.L. 1977, ch. 236, § 1; P.L. 1983, ch. 167, art. 10, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 22, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 65, art. 40, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 44, art. 9, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 138, art. 55, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 316, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 103; P.L. 2016, ch. 443, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 444, § 1.)