senate Bill S4300

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for the electronic service of orders of the public service commission

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Archive: Last Bill Status - STRICKEN

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 24, 2013 recommit, enacting clause stricken
Mar 20, 2013 referred to energy and telecommunications

S4300 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §23, Pub Serv L

S4300 - Bill Texts

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Provides for the electronic service of orders of the public service commission.

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TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to
electronic service of orders

Purpose of the Bill:

The bill would conform Public Service Law (PSL) § 23 with State
Technology Law (STL) Article III (Electronic Signatures and Records
Act (ESRA)), thereby reducing costs, increasing efficiency and
expediting public notification by streamlining recordkeeping for
electronic issuance of Orders by the Public Service Commission (PSC or

Summary of Provisions:

Section 1 of the bill would amend PSL § 23(1) to allow Orders issued
by the PSC to be provided by electronic means pursuant to PSC
regulations except that non-electronic service would be provided upon

Section 2 of the bill would make the bill effective immediately.

Existing Law:

PSL § 23(1) requires that every Order of the Commission be served upon
all persons or corporations affected by such Order either by (i)
personal delivery or (ii) mail, in a sealed envelope with prepaid
postage, addressed to persons designated to receive a summons under
the CPLR; electronic service is not authorized.

Prior Legislative History:

2012: A.9856/S.6764 passed the Senate.

Statement in Support:

PSL § 23(1) was enacted in 1910 (Ch. 480), and reflected the need in a
pre-electronic world to provide utility management and other parties
with hard copies of Commission Order. This bill would allow the
Commission to serve its Orders by electronic mail, reserving to
parties the option to receive hard copies if that is their preference.
Selecting an option establishes no additional burden on a party when
lie or she contacts the Commission to indicate a desire to become a
party to a Commission proceeding. Parties can indicate their
preference for service of documents related to the proceeding,
including Commission Orders.

Electronic communication is as reliable as regular mail, and the
limited options set forth in PSL § 23(1) for service of Commission
Orders are inefficient, outdated and expensive. Information can be
transmitted far more quickly and efficiently by electronic means than
by regular mail. Addressees receive the information nearly
instantaneously rather than days later, and electronic service can be
configured to provide for electronic "return receipts" to confirm
delivery. ESRA was accordingly adopted because "it is in the best
interest of the State of New York, its citizens, businesses and

government entities for state and federal law to work in tandem to
promote the use of electronic technology in the everyday lives and
transactions of such individuals and entities." Laws of 2002, Ch. 314
§ 1.

The Commission sends out approximately 650 Orders annually, which must
be sent to multiple parties per case; large proceedings may have over
100 parties. Implementation of electronic service would reduce the
cost of paper, envelopes, printing and mailing. ESRA provides agencies
broad authority to seek the savings of electronic transmittal and
electronic recordkeeping. However, ESRA implementing regulations, 9
NYCRR §540.5(e), provide that "(g)overmental entities using electronic
records shall, in the absence of specific statutory or regulatory
requirements, have the authority to specify the manner and format in
which electronic records will be received, produced, accepted,
acquired, recorded, filed, transmitted, forwarded, acknowledged and
stored." (Emphasis added). Because PSL § 23(1) mandates personal
service or "by mailing a copy thereof, in a sealed package with
postage prepaid," it precludes electronic service of Commission
Orders, without a waiver.

Budget Implications:

A nominal amount of nonpersonal services savings is projected. There
are also large, but unquantifiable, efficiencies due to resources
saved in attempting to design., maintain and refine a process for
waiver of PSL § 23(1).

Local Impact:


Effective Date:

Immediately Upon enactment.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K


                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 20, 2013

Introduced  by  Sen.  RITCHIE -- (at request of the Department of Public
  Service) -- read twice and ordered printed, and  when  printed  to  be
  committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  public  service  law, in relation to electronic
  service of orders


  Section  1.  Subdivision 1 of section 23 of the public service law, as
amended by chapter 310 of the laws  of  1974,  is  amended  to  read  as
  1.  Every order of the commission shall be served upon every person or
corporation to be affected thereby BY ELECTRONIC SERVICE IN A MANNER AND
CORPORATION, either by personal delivery of a copy thereof[;], or by THE
mailing OF a copy thereof, in a sealed package with postage prepaid,  to
the  person  to be affected thereby or, in the case of a corporation, to
any officer or agent thereof upon  whom  a  summons  may  be  served  in
accordance with the provisions of the civil practice law and rules.  The
commission  shall  provide,  upon request, a certified copy thereof or a
copy thereof bearing the seal of the commission.  Within a  time  speci-
fied  in  the  order of the commission every person and corporation upon
whom it is served must if so required in the order  notify  the  commis-
sion,  in  writing, whether the terms of the order are accepted and will
be obeyed and in the case of a corporation such  notification  shall  be
signed  and  acknowledged  by a person or officer duly authorized by the
corporation to execute such acceptance and agreement. Every order of the
commission shall take effect at  a  time  therein  specified  and  shall
continue in force either for a period which may be designated therein or
until changed or abrogated by the commission, unless such order be unau-
thorized  by  this  chapter  or  any  other  act or be in violation of a
provision of the constitution of the state or of the United States.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.


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