There was a lot of drama surrounding the special legislative session called by the Governor to finish business undone at the end of the regular session. Utility-related issues were not impacted, however, since the legislature wrapped up its work on Indiana’s "wet" utility infrastructure prior to the March deadline.
Using a methodical approach towards understanding the needs of utilities, the legislature issued two new laws that could significantly impact the industry.
The first, Public Law 126 (formerly Senate Enrolled Act 362) includes three main components:
The second new law, Public Law 196 (formerly House Enrolled Act 1267), establishes a Water Infrastructure Task Force that is charged with examining recommended standards and best practices for the maintenance and life cycle management of drinking water systems, wastewater management systems and storm water management systems.
As part of this examination, the task force is to analyze whether individual systems are achieving the recommended standards, assess the adequacy of funding sources, evaluate the impact of regionalization on system performance and ratepayer value and assess the impact on economic development in Indiana of an improved system of water infrastructure.
The task force is also directed to (1) create an empirical decision-making tool to assist policymakers in prioritizing funding for water infrastructure projects and (2) develop a long-term plan for addressing drinking water, wastewater and storm water management needs in Indiana.
The task force must act quickly. A report on recommendations from the task force is due no later than December 1, 2018.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly municipal specialists can help, contact our team.
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