TITLE 16. ECONOMIC REGULATION

PART 2. PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS

CHAPTER 25. SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS

SUBCHAPTER J. COSTS, RATES AND TARIFFS

DIVISION 1. RETAIL RATES

16 TAC §25.247

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (commission) proposes amendments to §25.247, relating to rate review schedule. The proposed amendments will establish a schedule requiring periodic filings for rate proceedings by non-investor-owned transmission service providers operating within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Project Number 48377 is assigned to this proceeding.

Darryl Tietjen, Director of the Rate Regulation Division, has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment.

Mr. Tietjen has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of adopting the amendments will be to ensure regularly scheduled commission reviews of the reasonableness and appropriateness of rates charged by non-investor-owned transmission service providers operating in ERCOT.

There is no adverse economic effect anticipated for small businesses, micro-businesses, rural communities, or local or state employment as a result of implementing the proposed amendments. There is no significant economic cost anticipated for persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments. Accordingly, no Economic Impact Statement or Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the amendments as proposed.

Mr. Tietjen has also determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect there should be no effect on a local economy, and, therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Tex. Gov't Code Ann. §2001.022 (West 2016 & Supp. 2017).

Mr. Tietjen has also determined that for each year of the first five years that the proposed amendments are in effect, the following statements will apply: (1) the proposed amendments will not create or eliminate a government program; (2) implementation of the proposed amendments will not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions; (3) implementation of the proposed amendments will not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; (4) the proposed amendments will not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency; (5) the proposed amendments will create a new regulation; (6) the proposed amendments will expand an existing regulation; (7) the proposed amendments will not increase the number of individuals subject to the proposed rule's applicability; and (8) the proposed amendments will not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

The commission staff will conduct a public hearing on this rulemaking, if requested in accordance with the APA §2001.029, at the commission's offices located in the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701 on September 18, 2018. The request for a public hearing must be received within 30 days after publication.

Initial comments on the proposed amendments may be filed with the Commission's filing clerk at 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas or mailed to P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, within 30 days after publication. Sixteen copies of such comments are required by 16 TAC §22.71(c) to be submitted when filed. Reply comments may be submitted within 45 days after publication. Comments should be organized in a manner consistent with the organization of the proposed amendments. The commission invites specific comments regarding the costs associated with, and benefits that will be gained by, implementation of the proposed amendments. The commission will consider the costs and benefits in deciding whether to adopt the amendments. All comments should refer to Project Number 48377.

This amendments are proposed under Public Utility Regulatory Act, Tex. Util. Code Ann. §14.002 (West 2016 and Supp. 2017) (PURA), which provides the commission with the authority to make and enforce rules reasonably required in the exercise of its powers and jurisdiction; and PURA §35.004, which grants the commission authority to approve wholesale transmission rates including those of non-investor-owned electric utilities.

Cross reference to statutes: Public Utility Regulatory Act §14.002 and §35.004.

§25.247.Rate Review Schedule.

(a) Application. This section applies to investor-owned electric utilities and non-investor-owned transmission service providers operating [only to an electric utility, other than a river authority, that operates solely] inside the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

(b) Filing requirements for investor-owned electric utilities.

(1) Each investor-owned electric utility in the ERCOT region must file for a comprehensive rate review within 48 months of the order setting rates in its most recent comprehensive rate proceeding or other proceeding in which the commission approved a settlement agreement reflecting a rate modification that allowed the electric utility to avoid the filing of such a rate case. For an investor-owned [a] transmission and distribution utility, the filing must include information necessary for the review of both transmission and distribution rates.

(2) On a year-to-year basis, the commission shall issue an order extending the filing requirements under paragraph (1) of this subsection by one year if the following conditions are met:

(A) for an investor-owned electric utility providing transmission-only service, the utility's most recent earnings monitoring report, as of 180 days before its scheduled filing date established by this section, filed in compliance with commission rules and instructions or as adjusted by the commission to conform with the rules and instructions, shows that it is earning, on a weather-normalized basis using weather data for the most recent ten calendar years, less than 50 basis points above the average of the most recent commission-approved rate of return on equity for each investor-owned transmission-only utility operating in ERCOT; or

(B) for an investor-owned [a] transmission and distribution utility, the utility's most recent earnings monitoring report, as of 180 days before its scheduled filing date established by this section, filed in compliance with commission rules and instructions or as adjusted by the commission to conform with the rules and instructions, shows that it is earning, on a weather-normalized basis using weather data for the most recent ten calendar years, less than 50 basis points above the average of the most recent commission-approved rate of return on equity for each investor-owned transmission and distribution utility operating in ERCOT with at least 175,000 metered customers.

(3) (No change.)

(4) An investor-owned electric utility qualifying for an extension under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall submit notice in the same project as the filing of its most recent earnings monitoring report at least 180 days before the fourth anniversary of the order in its most recent comprehensive rate proceeding or other proceeding in which the commission approved a settlement agreement reflecting a rate modification that allowed the electric utility to avoid the filing of such a rate case.

(5) Nothing in this section limits the commission's authority to initiate a rate proceeding at any time under this title on the basis of other criteria that the commission determines are in the public interest, including but not limited to the information provided in an investor-owned electric utility's earnings monitoring report.

(c) Transition issues for investor-owned electric utilities.

(1) If an investor-owned electric utility [ subject to subsection (a) of this section] has a comprehensive rate proceeding pending on the effective date of this rule, the electric utility is required to file, after the commission's final order in that pending proceeding, a comprehensive rate proceeding in accordance with subsection (b) of this section. If the pending proceeding is withdrawn, dismissed, or otherwise resolved without a final order, the investor-owned electric utility shall be subject to the transition timelines in paragraph (2) of this subsection unless the commission orders otherwise.

(2) All investor-owned electric utilities [ subject to subsection (a) of this section] shall make their initial filings under subsection (b) of this section on or before the later of:

(A) 48 months from the order in the investor-owned electric utility's last comprehensive rate proceeding or other proceeding in which the commission approved a settlement agreement reflecting a rate modification that allowed the electric utility to avoid the filing of such a rate case; or

(B) (No change.)

(d) Filing requirements for non-investor-owned transmission service providers.

(1) Except as provided for under subsection (e) of this section, each non-investor-owned transmission service provider is required to submit a complete application for an interim update under §25.192(h) of this title (relating to Transmission Service Rates) within 48 months of its most recently approved change in transmission service rates under §25.192 of this title.

(2) Nothing in this section limits the commission's authority to initiate a rate proceeding at any time under this title on the basis of other criteria that the commission determines are in the public interest, including but not limited to the information provided in a non-investor-owned transmission service provider's earnings monitoring report.

(e) Transition issues for non-investor-owned transmission service providers. For a non-investor-owned transmission service provider that has not had a commission-approved change to its transmission service rates under §25.192 of this title within 36 months prior to the effective date of this rule, the following deadlines apply for submitting an initial application for an interim update under §25.192(h) of this title:

Figure: 16 TAC §25.247(e) (.pdf)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 29, 2018.

TRD-201802863

Adriana Gonzales

Rules Coordinator

Public Utility Commission of Texas

Earliest possible date of adoption: August 12, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7223


PART 4. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION

CHAPTER 84. DRIVER EDUCATION AND SAFETY

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 84, Subchapter E, §84.61 and §84.63; and Subchapter K, §§84.300, 84.301, and 84.302, regarding the Driver Education and Safety program.

JUSTIFICATION AND EXPLANATION OF THE RULES

Senate Bill 848 (SB 848) and House Bill 912 (HB 912), 85th Legislature, Regular Session (2017) removed outdated language; expanded the population of persons who are authorized to provide instruction in the "parent taught" driver education program; reduced the driver education course provider bond to $10,000; and authorized driver education and driving safety course completion certificates to be issued electronically. In a previous rulemaking, published in the Texas Register (43 TexReg 1431), the Department adopted provisions regarding SB 848 and HB 912.

This rule proposal implements the remainder of SB 848 and HB 912 regarding the issuance of electronic certificates. The proposed rules are necessary to complete the implementation of SB 848 and HB 912.

The proposed rules were discussed by the Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (Committee) at its meeting on May 9, 2018. The Committee recommended that the proposed rules be published in the Texas Register for public comment.

SECTION- BY- SECTION SUMMARY

The proposed amendments to §84.61 require driving safety schools and course providers to issue completion certificates electronically.

The proposed amendments to §84.63 allow for certificates to be issued electronically.

The proposed amendments to §84.300 reduce the driver education fees.

The proposed amendments to §84.301 clarify and reduce the driving safety fees.

The proposed amendments to §84.302 reduce the drug and alcohol driving awareness fees.

FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Brian E. Francis, Executive Director, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect there will be no direct cost to the state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.

Mr. Francis has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there will be no estimated increase or loss in revenue to local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules. However, there will be an estimated loss in revenue to the state as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.

It is determined that a reduction in initial and renewal license fees of various licenses will reduce the total amount of money obtained by the state each year for this program, as noted below:

The initial application fee for a primary driver education school will decrease from $1,000 to $750. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 22 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $5,500 per year.

The initial application fee for a branch driver education school will decrease from $850 to $750. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 20 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $2,000 per year.

The renewal application fees for both primary and a branch driver education schools will decrease from $200 to $150. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 440 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $22,000 per year.

The fee for a change of the physical address for a driver education primary school and branch will decrease from $180 to $150. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 32 requests per year for the next five years, a decrease of $960 per year.

The fee for a change of name of a driver education school or to change the name of an owner will decrease from $100 to $50. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 3 requests per year for the next five years, a decrease of $150 per year.

The application fee for approval of a traditional driver education course exclusively for adults will decrease from $500 to $200. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 14 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $4,200 per year.

The application fee for approval of an online driver education course exclusively for adults will decrease from $9,000 to $1,200. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 1 application per year for the next five years, a decrease of $7,800 per year.

The application fee for approval of a 32-hour Alternative Method of Instruction (AMI) for driver education classroom will decrease from $15,000 to $6,400. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 1 application per year for the next five years, a decrease of $8,600 per year.

The initial application fee for a driving safety course provider will decrease from $2,000 to $750. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 3 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $3,750 per year.

The fee for a driving safety course approval will decrease from $9,000 to $1,200. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 1 request for approval per year for the next five years, a decrease of $7,800 per year.

The initial application fee for a drug and alcohol driving awareness school will decrease from $150 to $100. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 6 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $300 per year.

The initial application fee for a drug and alcohol driving awareness instructor license will decrease from $75 to $50. The agency anticipated receiving approximately 6 applications per year for the next five years, a decrease of $150 per year.

The total annual amount of estimated loss of revenue to the state as a result of the reduction in the fees, as noted above, amounts to $63,210 per year, for the first five years the proposed rules are in effect.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT

Mr. Francis has determined that the proposed rules will not affect the local economy, so the agency is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement under Government Code §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Mr. Francis has also determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, the public will benefit by reduced fees, which will allow licensees to save a significant amount. In addition, the ability for students to be able to electronically obtain e-certificates from course providers after having successfully completing a driver safety course will reduce paper and allow for quicker processing.

PROBABLE ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH PROPOSAL

Mr. Francis has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, there are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rules.

FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES

There will be no adverse effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed rules.

Since the agency has determined that the proposed rules will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses or rural communities, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, as detailed under Texas Government Code §2006.002, is not required.

ONE-FOR-ONE REQUIREMENT FOR RULES WITH A FISCAL IMPACT

Under Government Code §2001.0045, a state agency may not adopt a proposed rule if the fiscal note states that the rule imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or a local government, unless the state agency: (a) repeals a rule that imposes a total cost on regulated persons that is equal to or greater than the total cost imposed on regulated persons by the proposed rule; or (b) amends a rule to decrease the total cost imposed on regulated persons by an amount that is equal to or greater than the cost imposed on the persons by the rule. There are exceptions for certain types of rules under §2001.0045(c).

The proposed rules do not have a fiscal note that imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or a local government. Therefore, the agency is not required to take any further action under Government Code §2001.0045(c).

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rules. For each year of the first five years the proposed rules will be in effect, the agency has determined the following:

(1) The proposed rule does not create or eliminate a government program.

(2) Implementation of the proposed rule does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.

(3) Implementation of the proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.

(4) The proposed rule does require a decrease in fees paid to the agency. Certain fees have been reduced based on the cost to administer and enforce the program.

(5) The proposed rule does not create a new regulation.

(6) The proposed rule does expand an existing regulation, by allowing an option for driving safety course providers to electronically issue uniform certificates of course completion.

(7) The proposed rule does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability.

(8) The proposed rule does not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Comments on the proposal may be submitted by mail to Pauline Easley, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711; or by facsimile to (512) 475-3032, or electronically to erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

SUBCHAPTER E. DRIVING SAFETY SCHOOLS, COURSE PROVIDERS AND INSTRUCTORS

16 TAC §84.61, §84.63

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposal are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

§84.61.Driving Safety School and Course Provider Responsibilities.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Each course provider or employee shall:

(1) - (8) (No change.)

(9) submit a plan for the electronic issuance of uniform certificates of course completion for approval by the department prior to its implementation;

(10) issue uniform certificates of course completion that comply with the certificate design specifications approved by the department;

(11) [(9)] develop and maintain a department-approved method for [printing and] issuing original and duplicate uniform certificates of course completion that, to the greatest extent possible, prevents the unauthorized production, alteration, or misuse of the certificates;

(12) [(10)] report original and duplicate certificate data, by secure electronic transmission, to the department within five (5) [thirty (30)] days of issuance [issue] using guidelines established and provided by the department. The issue date indicated on the certificate shall be the date the course provider issues [mails] the certificate to the student.

[(11) ensure that the front of each uniform certificate of course completion contains the department complaint contact information and current department telephone number in a font that is visibly recognizable.]

(c) (No change.)

§84.63.Uniform Certificate of Course Completion for Driving Safety or Specialized Driving Safety Course.

(a) Course provider responsibilities. Course providers shall be responsible for original and duplicate uniform certificates of course completion in accordance with this subsection.

(1) - (4) (No change.)

(5) Course providers shall issue [and mail] uniform certificates of course completion only to students who have successfully completed all elements of the course provider's approved driving safety or specialized driving safety course taught by department-licensed instructors in department-approved locations as indicated on the verification of course completion document or student footprint.

(6) - (8) (No change.)

(9) Course providers shall issue [mail] all original and duplicate uniform certificates of course completion using first-class or enhanced postage, [or an] equivalent commercial delivery method, or department approved electronic issuance method.

(10) - (11) (No change.)

(12) No course provider or employee shall issue, [mail, ] transfer, or transmit an original or duplicate uniform certificate of course completion bearing the serial number of a certificate or duplicate previously issued.

(13) - (15) (No change.)

(16) The fee for a duplicate uniform certificate of course completion shall not exceed [is] $10. If the student requests a duplicate within thirty (30) days of the date of issue of the original certificate because the original was not received or was damaged so as to be unusable or was issued with errors due to no fault of the student, the course provider shall issue the duplicate at no cost to the student. Course providers shall ensure that schools endorsed to offer the approved course are aware of this rule and shall include this information in the student enrollment contract.

(17) Course providers shall implement and maintain methods for efficiently issuing [and mailing] original uniform certificates of course completion so that issuance of duplicate certificates is kept at a minimal rate. [A ratio of duplicates to originals that would indicate to a reasonable and prudent person that the course provider has failed to minimize duplicates constitutes evidence that a violation of §1001.056(c-1) of the Code, exists and shall be sufficient to initiate proceedings to sanction or condition the license of the course provider in question.]

(b) - (c) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 29, 2018.

TRD-201802859

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Earliest possible date of adoption: August 12, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179


SUBCHAPTER K. FEES

16 TAC §§84.300 - 84.302

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposal are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

§84.300.Driver Education Fees.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Driver Education School Fees:

(1) The initial application fee for a primary driver education school is $750 [$1,000].

(2) The initial application fee for a branch driver education school is $750 [$850].

(3) The renewal application fee for a primary driver education school is $150 [$200].

(4) The renewal application fee for a branch driver education school is $150 [$200].

(5) The fee for a change of the physical address for [of] a driver education primary school and branch is $150 [$180].

(6) The fee for a change of name of a driver education school or to change the name of an owner is $50 [$100].

(7) If a driver education school changes ownership as defined under §84.2(6), the fee paid by the new owner is $750 [$1,000] for a primary driver education school and $750 [$850] for a branch driver education school.

(c) (No change.)

(d) Driver Education Course Fees:

(1) The application fee for approval of a traditional driver education course exclusively for adults is $200 [$500].

(2) The application fee for approval of an online driver education course exclusively for adults is $1,200 [$9,000].

(3) The application fee for each additional driver education course is $25.

(4) The application fee for approval of a 32-hour Alternative Method of Instruction (AMI) for driver education classroom is $6,400 [$15,000].

(5) The application fee for approval of part of a 32-hour AMI for driver education classroom is $200 [$500] per instructional hour.

(6) The fee for a DE-964 certificate of completion is $1.00.

(7) The fee for an ADE-1317 certificate of completion is $1.00.

(e) (No change.)

§84.301.Driving Safety Fees.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Driving Safety School Fees:

(1) The initial application fee for a driving safety school is $150.

(2) The fee for a change of the physical address for [of] a driving safety school is $50.

(3) The fee for a change of name of a driving safety school or name of owner is $50.

(4) If a driving safety school changes ownership as defined under §84.2(6), the fee paid by the new owner is $100 [$150].

(c) (No change.)

(d) Driving Safety Course Provider Fees:

(1) The initial application fee for a course provider is $750 [$2,000].

(2) The annual renewal application fee for a course provider is $200.

(3) The fee for a change of address of a course provider is $50.

(4) The fee for a change of name of a course provider or name of owner is $50 [$100].

(5) If a driving safety course provider changes ownership as defined under §84.2(6), the fee paid by the new owner is $750 [$2,000].

(e) Driving Safety Course Fees:

(1) The fee for a driving safety course approval is $1,200 [$9,000].

(2) The fee for a specialized driving safety course approval is $1,200 [$9,000].

(3) The application fee for each additional course for a driving safety school is $25.

(4) The fee for a course completion certificate number is $1.00.

(f) (No change.)

§84.302.Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Fees.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Schools:

(1) The initial application fee for a drug and alcohol driving awareness school is $100 [$150].

(2) The fee for a change of address of a drug and alcohol driving awareness school is $50.

(3) The fee for a change of name of a drug and alcohol driving awareness school or name of owner is $50.

(4) If a drug and alcohol driving awareness school changes ownership as defined under §84.2(6), the fee paid by the new owner is $100 [$150].

(c) Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Programs:

(1) The fee for a drug and alcohol driving awareness program approval is $1,200 [$9,000].

(2) The fee for a drug and alcohol driving awareness program alternative delivery method approval is $1,200 [$9,000].

(3) The application fee for each additional program for a drug and alcohol driving awareness school is $25.

(d) Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Instructors:

(1) The initial application fee (including processing and licensing fees) for a drug and alcohol driving awareness instructor license is $50 [$75].

(2) The renewal application fee for a drug and alcohol driving awareness instructor license is $25.

(e) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 29, 2018.

TRD-201802860

Brian E. Francis

Executive Director

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Earliest possible date of adoption: August 12, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 463-8179