Municipal coalition shows support in Pierre

Inaugural interim meeting held for Electric Services in an Annexed Area

From the Coalition to Preserve Consumer Choice:

The Legislative Interim Committee met for the first time at the Capitol in Pierre, South Dakota July 25. Thanks to all the communities for making the trip to show support. There was a great turnout.

The meeting began with comments from the South Dakota Legislative Research Council (LRC). Alex from LRC discussed the histories of municipal and rural power and gave a short overview of how other states in our region govern similar issues.

Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson discussed the evolution of the boundaries outlining service territory and the role of the PUC.

After a short break, representatives of the Rural Electric Association (REAs) presented their side, followed by our Coalition to Preserve Consumer Choice’s presentation, finishing with Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs).

Matt McCauley of Redstone Law Firm presented on behalf of the Coalition.

The end of the meeting held time for public comment where several people spoke in support of the municipal electrics. Committee members asked great questions of all parties and requested a large amount of information to be gathered and discussed at the next meeting.

Jameson Berreth, Volga, SD city administrator, provided public comment in opposition of Senate Bill 66, which is the origin of the summer study.

The Coalition laid out a compelling case, providing historical context along with many of the challenges and opportunities faced by municipal electric communities. The presentation is worth taking time to review and can be viewed and downloaded here.

Special thanks to our Coalition team for putting together a great overview and specifically Matt McCaulley with Redstone Law Firm for walking the committee through the information.

There’s a lot of work left to do and much preparation ahead as we prepare for the next meeting in Pierre, scheduled for August 28.

A large crowd attended the first interim meeting of the Electric Services in an Annexed Area committee.