House File 556 - Enrolled

PAG LIN



  1  1                                             HOUSE FILE 556
  1  2
  1  3                             AN ACT
  1  4 ESTABLISHING THE IOWA PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH COUNCIL,
  1  5    PROVIDING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
  1  6    RELATED TO PROPANE, PROVIDING FOR AN ASSESSMENT ON THE SALE
  1  7    OF ODORIZED PROPANE, PROVIDING CRIMINAL PENALTIES, AND
  1  8    PROVIDING FOR A FUTURE REPEAL AND FOR EFFECTIVE DATES.
  1  9
  1 10 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
  1 11
  1 12    Section 1.  NEW SECTION.  101B.1  SHORT TITLE.
  1 13    This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the
  1 14 "Iowa Propane Education and Research Act".
  1 15    Sec. 2.  NEW SECTION.  101B.2  DEFINITIONS.
  1 16    As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise
  1 17 requires:
  1 18    1.  "Council" means the Iowa propane education and research
  1 19 council established pursuant to section 101B.3.
  1 20    2.  "Education" means any activity designed to provide
  1 21 information regarding propane, propane equipment, mechanical
  1 22 and technical practices, and uses of propane, to consumers and
  1 23 members of the propane industry.
  1 24    3.  "Fire marshal" means the state fire marshal as provided
  1 25 in section 100.1.
  1 26    4.  "Odorized propane" means propane to which an odorant
  1 27 has been added.
  1 28    5.  "Propane" means a hydrocarbon with a chemical
  1 29 composition that is predominately C3H8, whether recovered from
  1 30 natural gas or crude oil, and includes liquefied petroleum
  1 31 gases and mixtures.
  1 32    6.  "Propane industry" means those persons involved in the
  1 33 production, transportation, and sale of propane, and in the
  1 34 manufacture and distribution of propane utilization equipment.
  1 35    7.  "Propane industry trade association" means an
  2  1 organization exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) or
  2  2 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, that represents the
  2  3 propane industry.
  2  4    8.  "Public member" means a member of the council, other
  2  5 than a representative of a retail propane marketer, who
  2  6 represents a significant user of propane, a public safety
  2  7 official, a state regulatory official, or another group
  2  8 knowledgeable about propane.
  2  9    9.  "Qualified propane industry organization" means the
  2 10 Iowa propane gas association or any other similarly
  2 11 constituted industry trade association that represents at
  2 12 least thirty=five percent of the total volume of odorized
  2 13 propane sold at retail in this state.
  2 14    10.  "Research" means any type of study, investigation,
  2 15 program, or other activity designed to advance the image,
  2 16 desirability, usage, marketability, efficiency, or safety of
  2 17 propane or to further the development of information related
  2 18 to such activities.
  2 19    11.  "Retail propane dispenser" means a person who sells
  2 20 odorized propane to the ultimate consumer but is not engaged
  2 21 primarily in the business of such sales.
  2 22    12.  "Retail propane marketer" means a person engaged
  2 23 primarily in the sale of odorized propane to the ultimate
  2 24 consumer or to a retail propane dispenser.
  2 25    Sec. 3.  NEW SECTION.  101B.3  IOWA PROPANE EDUCATION AND
  2 26 RESEARCH COUNCIL ESTABLISHED.
  2 27    1.  The Iowa propane education and research council is
  2 28 established.  Members of the council shall be appointed by the
  2 29 governor from a list of nominees submitted by qualified
  2 30 propane industry organizations within thirty days after the
  2 31 effective date of this Act and by December 15 of each year
  2 32 thereafter.  The council shall consist of ten voting members,
  2 33 nine of whom represent retail propane marketers and one of
  2 34 whom shall be a public member.  Qualified propane industry
  2 35 organizations shall together nominate all members of the
  3  1 council.  A vacancy in the unfinished term of a council member
  3  2 shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same
  3  3 manner as the original appointment was made.  Other than the
  3  4 public member, council members shall be full=time employees or
  3  5 owners of a propane industry business or representatives of an
  3  6 agricultural cooperative actively engaged in the propane
  3  7 industry.  An employee of a qualified propane industry
  3  8 organization shall not serve as a member of the council.  An
  3  9 officer of the board of directors of a qualified propane
  3 10 industry organization or propane industry trade association
  3 11 shall not serve concurrently as a member of the council.  The
  3 12 fire marshal or a designee may serve as an ex officio,
  3 13 nonvoting member of the council.
  3 14    2.  In nominating members of the council, qualified propane
  3 15 industry organizations shall give due consideration to
  3 16 nominating council members who are representative of the
  3 17 propane industry, including representation of all of the
  3 18 following:
  3 19    a.  Interstate and intrastate retail propane marketers.
  3 20    b.  Large and small retail propane marketers, including
  3 21 agricultural cooperatives.
  3 22    c.  Diverse geographic regions of the state.
  3 23    3.  The following persons shall be ex officio, nonvoting
  3 24 members of the council designated for three=year terms as
  3 25 follows:
  3 26    a.  A professional fire fighter designated by the Iowa
  3 27 association of professional fire chiefs.
  3 28    b.  A volunteer fire fighter designated by the Iowa
  3 29 firemen's association.
  3 30    c.  An experienced plumber involved in plumbing training
  3 31 programs designated by the Iowa state building and
  3 32 construction trades council.
  3 33    d.  A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  3 34 professional involved in heating, ventilation, and air
  3 35 conditioning training programs designated by the Iowa state
  4  1 building and construction trades council.
  4  2    e.  A community college instructor with experience in
  4  3 conducting fire safety programs designated by the Iowa
  4  4 association of community college presidents.
  4  5    f.  A representative of a property and casualty insurance
  4  6 company with experience in insuring sellers of propane gas
  4  7 designated by the Iowa insurance institute.
  4  8    4.  A council member, other than the public member, shall
  4  9 not receive compensation for the council member's service and
  4 10 shall not be reimbursed for expenses relating to the council
  4 11 member's service.  The public member shall receive a per diem
  4 12 as specified in section 7E.6 and shall be reimbursed for
  4 13 actual expenses incurred in performing official duties of the
  4 14 council not to exceed forty days per year.  A member of the
  4 15 council shall not be a salaried employee of the council or of
  4 16 any organization or agency which receives funds from the
  4 17 council.
  4 18    5.  A council member shall serve a term of three years and
  4 19 shall not serve more than two full consecutive terms.  A
  4 20 council member filling an unexpired term may serve not more
  4 21 than a total of seven consecutive years.  A former council
  4 22 member may be appointed to the council if the former member
  4 23 has not been a member of the council for a period of at least
  4 24 two years.
  4 25    6.  Initial appointments to the council shall be for terms
  4 26 of one, two, and three years that are staggered to provide for
  4 27 the future appointment of at least two members each year.
  4 28    7.  The voting members of the council shall select a
  4 29 chairperson and other officers as necessary from the voting
  4 30 members and shall adopt rules and bylaws for the conduct of
  4 31 business and the implementation of this chapter.  The council
  4 32 may establish committees and subcommittees comprised of
  4 33 members of the council and may establish advisory committees
  4 34 comprised of persons other than council members.  The council
  4 35 shall establish procedures for the solicitation of propane
  5  1 industry comments and recommendations regarding any
  5  2 significant plans, programs, or projects to be funded by the
  5  3 council.
  5  4    8.  The council shall develop programs and projects and
  5  5 enter into agreements for administering such programs and
  5  6 projects as provided in this chapter, including programs to
  5  7 enhance consumer and employee safety and training, provide for
  5  8 research and development of clean and efficient propane
  5  9 utilization equipment, inform and educate the public about
  5 10 safety and other issues associated with the use of propane,
  5 11 and develop programs and projects that provide assistance to
  5 12 persons who are eligible for the low=income home energy
  5 13 assistance program.  The programs and projects shall be
  5 14 developed to attain equitable geographic distribution of their
  5 15 benefits to the fullest extent practicable.  The costs of the
  5 16 programs and projects shall be paid with funds collected
  5 17 pursuant to section 101B.4.  The council shall coordinate its
  5 18 programs and projects with propane industry trade associations
  5 19 and others as the council deems appropriate to provide
  5 20 efficient delivery of services and to avoid unnecessary
  5 21 duplication of activities.  Issues concerning propane that are
  5 22 related to research and development, safety, education, and
  5 23 training shall be given priority by the council in the
  5 24 development of programs and projects.
  5 25    9.  At the beginning of each fiscal year, the council shall
  5 26 prepare a budget plan for the next fiscal year, including the
  5 27 probable cost of all programs, projects, and contracts to be
  5 28 undertaken.  The council shall submit the proposed budget to
  5 29 the fire marshal for review and comment.  The fire marshal may
  5 30 recommend appropriate programs, projects, and activities to be
  5 31 undertaken by the council.
  5 32    10.  The council shall keep minutes, books, and records
  5 33 that clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the
  5 34 council which are public records open to public inspection.
  5 35 The books and records shall indicate the geographic areas
  6  1 where benefits were conferred by each individual program or
  6  2 project in detail sufficient to reflect the degree to which
  6  3 each program or project attained equitable geographic
  6  4 distribution of its benefits.  The books of the council shall
  6  5 be audited by a certified public accountant at least once each
  6  6 fiscal year and at such other times as the council may
  6  7 designate.  The cost of the audit shall be paid by the
  6  8 council.  Copies of the audit shall be provided to all council
  6  9 members, all qualified propane industry organizations, and to
  6 10 other members of the propane industry upon request.  In
  6 11 addition, a copy of the audit and a report detailing the
  6 12 programs and projects conducted by the council and containing
  6 13 information reflecting the degree to which equitable
  6 14 geographic distribution of the benefits of each program or
  6 15 project was attained shall be submitted each fiscal year to
  6 16 the chief clerk of the house of representatives and the
  6 17 secretary of the senate.
  6 18    11.  The council is subject to the open meeting
  6 19 requirements of chapter 21.
  6 20    12.  The council shall promulgate administrative rules
  6 21 pursuant to chapter 17A which shall have the same force and
  6 22 effect as if adopted by a state agency.  Initial rules shall
  6 23 be promulgated on an emergency basis.
  6 24    13.  The council shall also perform the functions required
  6 25 of a state organization under the federal Propane Education
  6 26 and Research Act of 1996, be the repository of funds received
  6 27 under that Act, and separately account for those funds.  The
  6 28 council shall coordinate the operation of the program with the
  6 29 federal council as contemplated by 15 U.S.C. } 6405.
  6 30    Sec. 4.  NEW SECTION.  101B.4  FUNDING == ASSESSMENTS.
  6 31    1.  The council and its activities shall be funded by an
  6 32 annual assessment.  Upon establishment of the council and each
  6 33 year thereafter the annual assessment shall be made at a rate
  6 34 of one=tenth of one cent on each gallon of odorized propane
  6 35 sold.
  7  1    2.  The owner of odorized propane at the time of
  7  2 odorization or at the time of import shall calculate the
  7  3 amount of the assessment based on the volume of odorized
  7  4 propane sold for use in this state.  The assessment, when
  7  5 made, shall be listed as a separate line item on the bill of
  7  6 sale for the odorized propane and titled "Iowa propane
  7  7 education and research assessment".  Assessments shall be
  7  8 collected by the owner from purchasers of the odorized propane
  7  9 and shall be paid by the owner to the council on a monthly
  7 10 basis by the twenty=fifth day of the month following the month
  7 11 the assessment was collected.  If payment is not made to the
  7 12 council by the due date as required by this subsection, an
  7 13 interest penalty of one percent of any amount unpaid shall be
  7 14 imposed against the owner for each month or fraction of a
  7 15 month after the due date, until final payment is made.
  7 16    3.  Notwithstanding subsection 2, the council may establish
  7 17 an alternative means of collecting such assessments if the
  7 18 council determines that another method would be more efficient
  7 19 or effective and may establish an alternative late payment
  7 20 charge or interest penalty to be imposed on a person who fails
  7 21 to timely pay any amount due under this chapter to the
  7 22 council.
  7 23    4.  Pending the disbursement of assessments collected, the
  7 24 council shall invest moneys collected through assessments and
  7 25 any other monies received by the council in any of the
  7 26 following:
  7 27    a.  Obligations of the United States or any agency of the
  7 28 United States.
  7 29    b.  General obligations of any state or political
  7 30 subdivision of any state.
  7 31    c.  Any interest=bearing account or certificate of deposit
  7 32 of a bank that is a member of the federal reserve system.
  7 33    d.  Obligations that are fully guaranteed as to principal
  7 34 and interest by the United States.
  7 35    Sec. 5.  NEW SECTION.  101B.5  REFERENDUM FOR TERMINATION
  8  1 OF COUNCIL.
  8  2    On the council's own initiative or on petition to the
  8  3 council by retail propane marketers representing thirty=five
  8  4 percent of the volume of odorized propane sold in this state,
  8  5 the council shall, at its own expense, arrange for a
  8  6 referendum to be conducted by an independent auditing firm
  8  7 agreed upon by the retail propane marketers, to determine
  8  8 whether the council should be terminated or suspended.  Voting
  8  9 rights in the referendum shall be based on the volume of
  8 10 odorized propane sold in this state by each retail propane
  8 11 marketer during the previous calendar year.  Each retail
  8 12 propane marketer voting in the referendum shall certify to the
  8 13 independent auditing firm the volume of odorized propane sold
  8 14 by that person as represented by that person's vote.  Upon the
  8 15 approval of those retail propane marketers representing more
  8 16 than one=half of the total volume of odorized propane sold in
  8 17 this state, the council shall be terminated or suspended and
  8 18 the general assembly shall consider the repeal of this chapter
  8 19 during its next regular session.
  8 20    Sec. 6.  NEW SECTION.  101B.6  COMPLIANCE.
  8 21    The district court is vested with the jurisdiction
  8 22 specifically to enforce this chapter and to prevent or
  8 23 restrain any person from violating this chapter.  A successful
  8 24 action for compliance brought under this section may also
  8 25 require payment by the defendant of the costs incurred by the
  8 26 council in bringing the action.
  8 27    Sec. 7.  NEW SECTION.  101B.7  LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS.
  8 28    Moneys collected by the council shall not be used in any
  8 29 manner for influencing legislation or elections, except that
  8 30 the council may recommend changes in this chapter or other
  8 31 statutes that would further the purposes of this chapter to
  8 32 the general assembly.
  8 33    Sec. 8.  NEW SECTION.  101B.8  PRICING.
  8 34    In all cases, the price of propane shall be determined by
  8 35 market forces.  Consistent with antitrust laws, the council
  9  1 shall not take any action regarding, and this chapter shall
  9  2 not be interpreted as establishing, an agreement to pass along
  9  3 to consumers the cost of the assessment provided for in
  9  4 section 101B.4.
  9  5    Sec. 9.  NEW SECTION.  101B.9  RELATION TO OTHER PROGRAMS.
  9  6    This chapter shall not be construed to preempt or supersede
  9  7 any other program relating to propane education and research
  9  8 organized and operated under the laws of this state.  This
  9  9 chapter shall be administered and construed as complementary
  9 10 to the federal Propane Education and Research Act of 1996, 15
  9 11 U.S.C. } 6401 et seq.
  9 12    Sec. 10.  NEW SECTION.  101B.10  BOND.
  9 13    Any person occupying a position of trust under any
  9 14 provision of this chapter shall provide a bond in an amount
  9 15 required by the council.  The costs of obtaining the bond
  9 16 shall be paid out of council funds.
  9 17    Sec. 11.  NEW SECTION.  101B.11  REPORT.
  9 18    The council shall prepare and submit an annual report to
  9 19 the fire marshal and the auditor of state summarizing the
  9 20 activities of the council conducted pursuant to this chapter.
  9 21 The report shall show all income, expenses, and other relevant
  9 22 information concerning assessments collected and expended
  9 23 under this chapter.
  9 24    Sec. 12.  NEW SECTION.  101B.12  NOT A STATE AGENCY.
  9 25    The Iowa propane education and research council is not a
  9 26 state agency.
  9 27    Sec. 13.  NEW SECTION.  101B.13  PENALTY.
  9 28    A person who willfully violates the provisions of this
  9 29 chapter or willfully renders or furnishes a false or
  9 30 fraudulent report, statement, or record required by the fire
  9 31 marshal pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a simple
  9 32 misdemeanor.
  9 33    Sec. 14.  NEW SECTION.  101B.14  FUTURE REPEAL.
  9 34    This chapter is repealed December 31, 2014.
  9 35    Sec. 15.  EFFECTIVE DATES.
 10  1    1.  This Act, except section 4, being deemed of immediate
 10  2 importance, takes effect upon enactment.
 10  3    2.  Section 4 of this Act takes effect January 1, 2008, or
 10  4 upon adoption of administrative rules implementing section 4,
 10  5 whichever occurs first.
 10  6
 10  7
 10  8                                                             
 10  9                               PATRICK J. MURPHY
 10 10                               Speaker of the House
 10 11
 10 12
 10 13                                                             
 10 14                               JOHN P. KIBBIE
 10 15                               President of the Senate
 10 16
 10 17    I hereby certify that this bill originated in the House and
 10 18 is known as House File 556, Eighty=second General Assembly.
 10 19
 10 20
 10 21                                                             
 10 22                               MARK BRANDSGARD
 10 23                               Chief Clerk of the House
 10 24 Approved                , 2007
 10 25
 10 26
 10 27                            
 10 28 CHESTER J. CULVER
 10 29 Governor