2017 Illinois Compiled Statutes
Chapter 220 - UTILITIES
220 ILCS 40/ - Small Business Utility Advocate Act.

(220 ILCS 40/1) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1201)
Sec. 1. Title. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Small Business Utility Advocate Act".
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/2) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1202)
Sec. 2. Statement and Purpose. The General Assembly recognizes the importance of the small business owner to the statewide economy. The General Assembly further recognizes that an environment which encourages the development of small business in Illinois would necessarily also improve the economic well being of this entire State.
The high cost of utility service acts as a retardant on general economic growth and the operation of the small business owner in particular, and has a direct effect upon the success of a small business. Small business owners are either unrepresented or underrepresented before the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the courts and other public bodies. The General Assembly, therefore, finds and states that the purpose of this Act is to promote the health, welfare and prosperity of the people of Illinois and the small business community by ensuring effective and active representation before the aforementioned regulatory bodies and by fostering the education of the small business owner on the benefits and methods of energy conservation.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/3) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1203)
Sec. 3. Definitions. For the purposes of this Act:
(a) "Commission" means the Illinois Commerce Commission, or its successor agency.
(b) "Small business" means any Illinois based business which meets the requirements under Section 3 of the "Illinois Small Business Purchasing Act", approved September 1, 1972, as now or hereafter amended.
(c) "Customer" means a small business, as herein defined, which has agreed with a utility to pay for gas, electric, telecommunication, water or sanitary sewer utility service.
(d) "User" means a small business, as herein defined, which receives gas, electric, telecommunication, water or sanitary sewer utility service.
(e) "Utility service" means electricity, gas telecommunications, water or sanitary sewer service supplied by a public utility.
(f) "Public utility" shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 3 of the "Citizens Utility Board Act", certified December 1, 1983, as now or hereafter amended.
(g) "Small Business Utility Advocate" or "Advocate" means the person appointed pursuant to Section 4 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/4) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1204)
Sec. 4. Small Business Utility Advocate. (a) There is created the position of Small Business Utility Advocate. The Governor shall appoint the Small Business Utility Advocate by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. In the case of a vacancy in such position during the recess of the Senate the Governor shall make a temporary appointment until the next meeting of the Senate, when the Governor shall nominate some person to fill such position; and any person so nominated and confirmed by the Senate, shall hold the Small Business Utility Advocate position during the remainder of the term and until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. The length of the term of the Advocate shall be 5 years from the first Monday of February, 1986. Each Advocate shall serve until his successor is appointed and qualified. The Governor may reappoint the same person as Advocate.
(b) Qualifications. Any Small Business Utility Advocate appointed pursuant to this Act shall be a resident of the State of Illinois at the time of his appointment and shall own or operate or shall have owned or operated a small business as defined by this Act. No person who is a director, officer, employee or agent or who is a member of the immediate family of a director, officer, employee or agent of any public utility is eligible to be the Small Business Utility Advocate. No person who is a director, officer, employee or agent or is a member of the immediate family of a director, officer, employee or agent of any not-for-profit organization or trade association which represents small businesses, large businesses or labor unions is eligible to be a Small Business Utility Advocate. No Advocate shall hold any elective position or office, be a candidate for any elective position or office, be a State public official, be employed by the Illinois Commerce Commission, be an active director of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, be employed by the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, or be employed in a state government position exempt from the "Personnel Code", approved July 18, 1955 as now or hereafter amended.
(c) Salary. The Small Business Utility Advocate shall receive an annual salary as set by the Compensation Review Board but in no case less than that of a commissioner, other than the Chairman, of the Illinois Commerce Commission.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/5) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1205)
Sec. 5. Duties and Powers. (1) The Small Business Utility Advocate shall have the following duties:
(a) Represent, protect and promote the interests of the small business utility customers of this State. All actions of the Advocate under this Act shall be directed toward such duty. Nothing in this Act shall prevent the Advocate from cooperating with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board or from giving due consideration to the general economic development of this State.
(b) Inform and educate, insofar as possible, all small business utility customers about the duty and mission of the Small Business Utility Advocate.
(c) Work in cooperation with existing state agencies in acting, to the extent possible, in an ombudsman capacity for the small business utility customer. Duties in this regard include, but shall not be limited to, providing information and assistance with regard to utility conservation measures available to small business; notify the small business community regarding proceedings before the Commission, appropriate federal regulatory agencies, the courts, and other public bodies; and provide advice to small businesses on any matter with respect to utility service.
(d) Actively solicit, to the extent possible, the opinions, comments and needs of small business with regard to utility service.
(e) Report to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Commission, the Citizens Utility Board, small businesses and the public on a periodic basis but in no case less frequent than on the first Monday in December, any findings, conclusions or recommendations for both legislative or administrative action. Such reports to the small businesses pursuant to this Section shall be in a manner as deemed acceptable to the Advocate.
(f) Perform and discharge other duties that may be delegated to the Advocate by the Governor or prescribed by law.
(2) The Small Business Utility Advocate shall have the following powers:
(a) Adopt rules and regulations as are necessary for the effective representation, protection and education of the small business utility customer, including any rules and regulations necessary to carry out the intent of this Act.
(b) To employ a deputy advocate or deputy advocates and other such employees and advisors as the Advocate finds necessary and to fix their compensation.
(c) To enter into contracts, commitments or agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of his duties and the execution of his powers under this Act.
(d) To accept, solicit and expend gifts, grants, appropriations and loans for the operation of his office except the Advocate may not accept any gifts, grants or loans directly or indirectly from any public utility.
(e) To intervene as a party or otherwise participate on behalf of small business utility customers in any proceeding which affects the interest of small business utility customers.
(f) To represent, with the cooperation of the Attorney General where constitutionally required, the interests of small business utility customers before the Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the courts and other public bodies, including the General Assembly.
(g) To provide information and advice to small business utility customers on any matter with respect to utility service, including but not limited to information and advice on benefits, methods and types of financing available to small businesses for energy conservation. The Advocate may also inform small businesses of the aspects of the "Small Business Utility Deposit Relief Act".
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/6) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1206)
Sec. 6. Office. The Governor, or his designee, shall locate office space for the Small Business Utility Advocate. The Advocate's office and any staff shall be considered a part of that office originally created pursuant to Executive Order 3 of 1976.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/7) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1207)
Sec. 7. Small Business Utility Advocate's Hotline. As soon as practical after the effective date of this Act, but in no case later than September 1, 1986, the Advocate shall have established a toll free telephone number or numbers which shall be used for the receipt of inquiries, comments and suggestions from primarily small business utility customers. The effectiveness of this Hotline shall be included in the report required by Section 5 of this Act. In order to effectuate this Section the Advocate shall, to the extent available resources allow, promote and advertise this Hotline.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/8) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1208)
Sec. 8. The Governor shall include a budgeted dollar amount in each annual State budget at a level necessary and sufficient for the Advocate to carry out the intent of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/9) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1209)
Sec. 9. Duties Nontransferable. The power, duties, responsibilities and privileges conferred or imposed upon the Small Business Utility Advocate by this Act may not be transferred.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/10) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1210)
Sec. 10. Prohibited Activity. (a) No person may interfere or threaten to interfere with or cause any interference with the utility service of a small business or penalize any person who supplies information to the Advocate or participates in any of the Advocate's activities, in retribution for supplying such information or for such participation.
(b) No person may act with intent to prevent, interfere with or hinder the activities permitted under this Act.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/11) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1211)
Sec. 11. Penalties. A person who knowingly violates any provision of Section 10 of this Act shall be guilty of a business offense and fined not more than $1,000. Each such violation shall constitute a separate and continuing violation of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


(220 ILCS 40/12) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 1212)
Sec. 12. Neither the Small Business Utility Advocate nor any of his employees may accept any employment with any public utility subject to Commission regulation for one year following the termination of his services with the Small Business Utility Advocate.
(Source: P.A. 84-686.)


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