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2012 Florida Statutes

F.S. 350.031
350.031 Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council.
(1)(a) There is created a Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council consisting of 12 members. At least one member of the council must be 60 years of age or older. Six members, including three members of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a member of the minority party, shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Six members, including three members of the Senate, one of whom shall be a member of the minority party, shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the President of the Senate.
(b) All terms shall be for 4 years except those members of the House and Senate, who shall serve 2-year terms concurrent with the 2-year elected terms of House members. All terms of the members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council existing on June 30, 2008, shall terminate upon the effective date of this act; however, such members may serve an additional term if reappointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the President of the Senate. To establish staggered terms, appointments of members shall be made for initial terms to begin on July 1, 2008, with each appointing officer to appoint three legislator members, one of whom shall be a member of the minority party, to terms through the remainder of the 2-year elected terms of House members; one nonlegislator member to a 6-month term; one nonlegislator member to an 18-month term; and one nonlegislator member to a 42-month term. Thereafter, the terms of the nonlegislator members of the Public Service Commission Nominating Council shall begin on January 2 of the year the term commences and end 4 years later on January 1.
(c) The President of the Senate shall appoint the chair of the council in even-numbered years and the vice chair in odd-numbered years, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the chair of the council in odd-numbered years and the vice chair in even-numbered years, from among the council membership.
(d) Vacancies on the council shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as original appointments to the council. A member may not be reappointed to the council, except for a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate who may be appointed to two 2-year terms, members who are reappointed pursuant to paragraph (b), or a person who is appointed to fill the remaining portion of an unexpired term.
(2)(a) No member or spouse shall be the holder of the stocks or bonds of any company, other than through ownership of shares in a mutual fund, regulated by the commission, or any affiliated company of any company regulated by the commission, or be an agent or employee of, or have any interest in, any company regulated by the commission or any affiliated company of any company regulated by the commission, or in any firm which represents in any capacity either companies which are regulated by the commission or affiliates of companies regulated by the commission. As a condition of appointment to the council, each appointee shall affirm to the Speaker and the President his or her qualification by the following certification: “I hereby certify that I am not a stockholder, other than through ownership of shares in a mutual fund, in any company regulated by the commission or in any affiliate of a company regulated by the commission, nor in any way, directly or indirectly, in the employment of, or engaged in the management of any company regulated by the commission or any affiliate of a company regulated by the commission, or in any firm which represents in any capacity either companies which are regulated by the commission or affiliates of companies regulated by the commission.”

This certification is made as condition to appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council.

(b) A member of the council may be removed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate upon a finding by the Speaker and the President that the council member has violated any provision of this subsection or for other good cause.
(c) If a member of the council does not meet the requirements of this subsection, the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as appropriate, shall appoint a legislative replacement.
(3) A majority of the membership of the council may conduct any business before the council. All meetings and proceedings of the council shall be staffed by the Office of Legislative Services and shall be subject to the provisions of ss. 119.07 and 286.011. Members of the council are entitled to receive per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061, which shall be funded by the Florida Public Service Regulatory Trust Fund. Applicants invited for interviews before the council may, in the discretion of the council, receive per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061, which shall be funded by the Florida Public Service Regulatory Trust Fund. The council shall establish policies and procedures to govern the process by which applicants are nominated.
(4) The council may spend a nominal amount, not to exceed $10,000, to advertise a vacancy on the council, which shall be funded by the Florida Public Service Regulatory Trust Fund.
(5) A person may not be nominated to the Governor for appointment to the Public Service Commission until the council has determined that the person is competent and knowledgeable in one or more fields, which shall include, but not be limited to: public affairs, law, economics, accounting, engineering, finance, natural resource conservation, energy, or another field substantially related to the duties and functions of the commission. The commission shall fairly represent the above-stated fields. Recommendations of the council shall be nonpartisan.
(6) It is the responsibility of the council to nominate to the Governor no fewer than three persons for each vacancy occurring on the Public Service Commission. The council shall submit the recommendations to the Governor by September 15 of those years in which the terms are to begin the following January, or within 60 days after a vacancy occurs for any reason other than the expiration of the term.
(7) The Governor shall fill a vacancy occurring on the Public Service Commission by appointment of one of the applicants nominated by the council only after a background investigation of such applicant has been conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. If the Governor has not made an appointment within 30 consecutive calendar days after the receipt of the recommendation, the council, by majority vote, shall appoint, within 30 days after the expiration of the Governor’s time to make an appointment, one person from the applicants previously nominated to the Governor to fill the vacancy.
(8) Each appointment to the Public Service Commission shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate during the next regular session after the vacancy occurs. If the Senate refuses to confirm or fails to consider the Governor’s appointment, the council shall initiate, in accordance with this section, the nominating process within 30 days.
(9) When the Governor makes an appointment to fill a vacancy occurring due to expiration of the term, and that appointment has not been confirmed by the Senate before the appointing Governor’s term ends, a successor Governor may, within 30 days after taking office, recall the appointment and, prior to the first day of the next regular session, make a replacement appointment from the list provided to the previous Governor by the council. Such an appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate at the next regular session following the creation of the vacancy to which the appointments are being made. If the replacement appointment is not timely made, or if the appointment is not confirmed by the Senate for any reason, the council, by majority vote, shall appoint, within 30 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die, one person from the applicants previously nominated to the Governor to fill the vacancy, and this appointee is subject to confirmation by the Senate during the next regular session following the appointment.
History.s. 3, ch. 78-426; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 6, ch. 87-50; s. 6, ch. 87-172; s. 1, ch. 90-272; s. 529, ch. 95-148; s. 31, ch. 98-136; s. 141, ch. 99-13; s. 40, ch. 2000-164; s. 3, ch. 2005-132; s. 34, ch. 2008-227.