Walter G. Wright
Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law
Senate Bill 289 has been introduced which would amend certain provisions of Chapter 200 (Municipal Authority Over Utilities) of the Arkansas Code.
The bill’s sponsors include:
- Senator Jane English (North Little Rock)
- Representative Mark Lowery (Maumelle)
- Representative Carlton Wing (North Little Rock)
Provisions of the bill include an amendment to Ark. Code § 14-200-101(a) addressing municipal jurisdiction over utilities. This definition is revised to include water utilities, adding it to electric, gas, sewer, or telephone companies.
The bill also amends Ark. Code 14-200-101(b)(1)(A)(iii) addressing franchise fees for utilities. The word “public” is added, along with a revision addressing the cap on the franchise fee.
The bill also addresses Ark. Code § 25-30-319(b) regarding franchise fees by deleting (b) and adding the following language:
A participating public agency shall not require a public body created under this subchapter to pay a franchise fee under authority of other law.
A copy of the bill can be found here.