Provisions intended to assist utilities in addressing water and wastewater infrastructure issues appear closer to clearing the legislature this week after being included in the conference report for SB 553 Regulatory Reform Act of 2019. SB 553 is the legislature’s agreed-to package of numerous unrelated regulatory reforms. After being released this week, the bill passed the House and awaits one more vote from the Senate before it can go to the governor. The water and wastewater provisions include the creation of a Viable Utility Reserve grant program for assisting utilities in becoming self-sustaining, a merger and dissolution process for utilities, a process to define and access a distressed utilities, a study of the feasibility of authorizing historical charters for units of local government, and others that were originally included in SB 536 Water/Wastewater Public Enterprise Reform and also included in the final budget. More background on those provisions are in previous Bulletin coverage.