H.B. No. 3867
  relating to the authority of the Public Utility Commission of Texas
  to retain assistance for regional proceedings affecting certain
  electric utilities and consumers.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 39, Utilities Code, is
  amended by adding Section 39.004 to read as follows:
  (a) The commission may retain any consultant, accountant, auditor,
  engineer, or attorney the commission considers necessary to
  represent the commission in a proceeding before a regional
  transmission organization, or before a court reviewing proceedings
  of a regional transmission organization, related to:
               (1)  the relationship of an electric utility to a power
  region, regional transmission organization, or independent system
               (2)  the approval of an agreement among an electric
  utility and the electric utility's affiliates concerning the
  coordination of the operations of the electric utility and the
  electric utility's affiliates; or
               (3)  other matters related to an electric utility that
  may affect the ultimate rates paid by retail customers in this
         (b)  Notwithstanding Sections 39.402(a), 39.452(d), and
  39.502(b), this section applies to an electric utility to which
  Subchapter I, J, or K applies.
         (c)  Assistance for which a consultant, accountant, auditor,
  engineer, or attorney may be retained under Subsection (a) may
               (1)  conducting a study;
               (2)  conducting an investigation;
               (3)  presenting evidence;
               (4)  advising the commission; or
               (5)  representing the commission.
         (d)  The electric utility that is the subject of the
  proceeding shall pay timely the reasonable costs of the services of
  a person retained under Subsection (a), as determined by the
  commission. The total costs an electric utility is required to pay
  under this subsection may not exceed $1.5 million in a 12-month
         (e)  The commission shall allow an electric utility to
  recover both the total costs the electric utility paid under
  Subsection (d) and the carrying charges for those costs through a
  rider established annually to recover the costs paid and carrying
  charges incurred during the preceding calendar year. The rider may
  not be implemented before the rider is reviewed and approved by the
         (f)  The commission shall consult the attorney general
  before the commission retains a consultant, accountant, auditor, or
  engineer under Subsection (a). The retention of an attorney under
  Subsection (a) is subject to the approval of the attorney general
  under Section 402.0212, Government Code.
         (g)  The commission shall be precluded from engaging any
  individual who is required to register under Section 305.003,
  Government Code.
         (h)  This section expires September 1, 2023.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 3867 was passed by the House on May 3,
  2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 3867 on May 24, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 138, Nays 0,
  3 present, not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 3867 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________