S.B. 491 would expand the pool of cities that are eligible to become members of the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA) by deleting language that conditioned their eligibility upon the operation of generation facilities in 1976. Moreover, the bill would authorize the KMEA to sell electricity wholesale to marketers and brokers of electricity and to electric utilities, in addition to those member cities currently authorized by law.
S.B. 491 was requested by Jim Widener, General Manager of KMEA. According to Mr. Widener, KMEA was organized in 1980 and currently has 40 member cities. KMEA provides its member cities the opportunity to participate in projects, such as power supply, interconnections, and financing. Mr. Widener informed the Committee that the restriction in existing law of the date governing a city's generating operations has made 58 municipal electric cities ineligible to join KMEA and thus participate in joint projects under its auspices. He also explained that the language was restrictive concerning the parties to whom KMEA could sell electricity. Under existing law, KMEA may sell only to member cities. However, brokers and other utilities are currently authorized to sell to Kansas municipal cities that are statutorily precluded from membership in KMEA. In addition to Mr. Widener, Louis Stroup, Jr., Executive Director of Kansas Municipal Utilities, spoke in support of the bill. There were no opponents.
The Senate Committee amended the bill to clarify that KMEA could sell electricity wholesale to marketers and brokers, in addition to electric utilities.
The Division of Budget's fiscal note indicated the bill would have no impact on state revenues or expenditures.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.