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Government Affairs Albany Update

June 25, 1999

Budget Extenders to July 13th

The Senate and Assembly this week passed emergency budget bills to July 13th. The Senate also passed a bill to continue Medicaid cost containment measures that are due to expire on June 30th. That bill has not passed the Assembly. The State Assembly is scheduled to return to town Monday, June 28th, while the Senate remains "on-call."

While there continue to be rumblings that legislative conference committees may start "any day," those have yet to be convened. We will keep you apprized of further developments on the budget.

Insurance Department Calls Workers' Compensation Hearing

The New York State Insurance Department has scheduled a public hearing to consider the application of the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) for a workers' compensation insurance increase of 12.6 percent. The application is for an effective date of October 1, 1999.

The hearing will be held on July 1, 1999 at 11:00 a.m. at the offices of the Insurance Department, 25 Beaver Street, 5th floor hearing room, New York City.

NiMo, NYSEG Sell Off Lake Ontario Nuclear Plants

Niagara Mohawk (NiMo) and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) announced last week that they will sell their majority stakes in the Nine Mile Point 1 and 2 nuclear plants to AmerGen Energy Company, an international conglomerate, for $163 million. AmerGen is a joint venture of PECO Energy Company and British Energy and is based in Philadelphia. The deal is subject to regulatory approval by the Public Service Commission and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Under the agreement with AmerGen, for the next three years, NiMo and NYSEG would buy back the power produced at Nine Mile 2 to supply their utility customers. Similarly, NiMo would buy power from Nine Mile 1 for five years. After that, AmerGen would sell electricity produced at the two facilities into the competitive wholesale market. NiMo would also transfer up to $420 million to AmerGen to pay for decommissioning the plants when the facilities are retired. Any decommissioning expenses beyond that amount would be borne by AmerGen.

The other Nine Mile 2 co-owners are the Long Island Power Authority (18%), Rochester Gas & Electric (14%) and Central Hudson Gas & Electric (9%). No deals have been announced by these companies to sell their stakes in the plant.