Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 964
       By Senator Legg
       17-00562A-14                                           2014964__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Florida Public Service
    3         Commission; amending s. 350.01, F.S.; authorizing each
    4         commissioner serving on July 1, 2014, to remain in
    5         office until the completion of his or her term;
    6         deleting obsolete provisions; restricting
    7         commissioners appointed after July 1, 2014, from
    8         serving more than two consecutive terms; making
    9         technical changes; amending s. 350.031, F.S.; for the
   10         purpose of statewide representation on the commission,
   11         creating five districts whose boundaries align with
   12         the five state district courts of appeal; requiring
   13         one commissioner to be appointed to represent each
   14         district; requiring the Florida Public Service
   15         Commission Nominating Council to select nominees who
   16         are residents of the district they are being nominated
   17         to represent; providing an effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Section 350.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   22  read:
   23         350.01 Florida Public Service Commission; terms of
   24  commissioners; vacancies; election and duties of chair; quorum;
   25  proceedings.—
   26         (1) APPOINTMENT.—The Florida Public Service Commission
   27  consists shall consist of five commissioners appointed pursuant
   28  to s. 350.031.
   29         (2)(a) Each commissioner serving on July 1, 2014 1978, is
   30  authorized shall be permitted to remain in office until the
   31  completion of his or her current term. An individual appointed
   32  to fill a vacancy for an unexpired portion of a term of a
   33  commissioner serving on July 1, 2014, is authorized to remain in
   34  office until completing the unexpired portion of such term.
   35         (b) Upon the expiration of a the term, a successor shall be
   36  appointed for a 4-year term beginning on January 2 and ending 4
   37  years later on January 1 in the manner prescribed by s. 350.031.
   38  for a 4-year term, except that The following vacancies terms of
   39  the initial members appointed under this act shall be filled as
   40  follows:
   41         1. The vacancies vacancy created by the expiration of the
   42  two terms present term ending in January 2015, 1981, shall be
   43  filled by the appointment of two individuals, each representing
   44  a different district for a 4-year term and for 4-year terms
   45  thereafter; and
   46         2. The vacancy vacancies created by the expiration of the
   47  term two present terms ending in January 2017, 1979, shall be
   48  filled by the appointment of an individual representing a
   49  district not represented by the appointments made under
   50  subparagraph 1.; and for a 3-year term and for 4-year terms
   51  thereafter
   52         3. The vacancies created by the expiration of the two terms
   53  ending in January 2018, shall be filled by the appointment of
   54  two individuals, each representing a district not represented by
   55  the appointments made under subparagraphs 1. and 2.
   56         (b) Two additional commissioners shall be appointed in the
   57  manner prescribed by s. 350.031 for 4-year terms beginning the
   58  first Tuesday after the first Monday in January, 1979, and
   59  successors shall be appointed for 4-year terms thereafter with
   60  each term beginning on January 2 of the year the term commences
   61  and ending 4 years later on January 1.
   62         (c) Vacancies on the commission shall be filled for the
   63  unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as original
   64  appointments to the commission.
   65         (d)(3)A Any person serving on the commission who seeks
   66  reappointment for a second consecutive 4-year term to be
   67  appointed or reappointed shall file a statement to that effect
   68  with the nominating council by no later than June 1 prior to the
   69  year in which his or her term expires a statement that he or she
   70  desires to serve an additional term.
   71         (e) A commissioner appointed after July 1, 2014, may not
   72  serve more than two consecutive terms.
   73         (2)(4)COMMISSION CHAIR.—
   74         (a) One member of the commission shall be elected by
   75  majority vote to serve as chair for a term of 2 years, beginning
   76  on January 2 of the first year of the 2-year term. A member may
   77  not serve two consecutive terms as chair.
   78         (b)(5) The primary duty of the chair is to serve as chief
   79  administrative officer of the commission; however, the chair may
   80  participate in any proceedings pending before the commission if
   81  when administrative duties and time permit. In order to
   82  distribute the workload and expedite the commission’s calendar,
   83  the chair, in addition to other administrative duties, may has
   84  authority to assign the various proceedings pending before the
   85  commission which require requiring hearings to two or more
   86  commissioners or to the commission’s staff of hearing examiners
   87  under the supervision of the office of general counsel.
   88         (3) PROCEEDINGS.—
   89         (a) Only those commissioners assigned to a proceeding that
   90  requires hearings requiring hearings are entitled to participate
   91  in the final decision of the commission relating as to that
   92  proceeding; however provided, if only two commissioners are
   93  assigned to a proceeding requiring hearings and they cannot
   94  agree on a final decision, the chair shall cast the deciding
   95  vote for final disposition of the proceeding. If more than two
   96  commissioners are assigned to any proceeding, a majority of the
   97  members assigned constitutes shall constitute a quorum and a
   98  majority vote of the members assigned is shall be essential to
   99  final commission disposition of those proceedings requiring
  100  actual participation by the commissioners. If a commissioner
  101  becomes unavailable after assignment to a particular proceeding,
  102  the chair shall assign a substitute commissioner. After the
  103  conclusion of hearings in those proceedings assigned to a
  104  hearing examiner, following the conclusion of the hearings, the
  105  designated hearing examiner is responsible for preparing
  106  recommendations for final disposition by a majority vote of the
  107  commission. A petition for reconsideration shall be voted upon
  108  by those commissioners participating in the final disposition of
  109  the proceeding.
  110         (b)(6) A majority of the commissioners may determine
  111  whether that the full commission shall sit in any proceeding.
  112         (c) The public counsel or a person regulated by the Public
  113  Service Commission and substantially affected by a proceeding
  114  may file a petition requesting that the proceeding be assigned
  115  to the full commission. Within 15 days after of receipt by the
  116  commission of a any petition or application, the full commission
  117  shall dispose of the such petition by majority vote and render a
  118  written decision before thereon prior to assignment of less than
  119  the full commission to a proceeding. In disposing of such
  120  petition, the commission shall consider the overall general
  121  public interest and impact of the pending proceeding, including,
  122  but not limited to, the following criteria: the magnitude of a
  123  rate filing, including the number of customers affected and the
  124  total revenues requested; the services rendered to the affected
  125  public; the urgency of the requested action; the needs of the
  126  consuming public and the utility; the value of service involved;
  127  the effect on consumer relations, regulatory policies,
  128  conservation, the economy, competition, and the public health,
  129  and safety of the area involved. If the petition is denied, the
  130  commission shall specify set forth the grounds for denial.
  131         (d)(7) This section does not prohibit a commissioner,
  132  designated by the chair, from conducting a hearing as provided
  133  under ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1) and the rules of the commission
  134  rules adopted pursuant thereto.
  135         Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 350.031, Florida
  136  Statutes, is amended to read:
  137         350.031 Florida Public Service Commission Nominating
  138  Council.—
  139         (5)(a)To provide for statewide representation on the
  140  Florida Public Service Commission, five districts whose
  141  boundaries align with the five state district courts of appeal
  142  as provided under chapter 35 are created. One commissioner shall
  143  be appointed to represent each district. A person may not be
  144  nominated to the Governor for appointment to the commission
  145  unless he or she is a resident of the district he or she is
  146  being nominated to represent.
  147         (b) A person may not be nominated to the Governor for
  148  appointment to the Public Service commission until the council
  149  has determined that the person is competent and knowledgeable in
  150  one or more fields, including which shall include, but not be
  151  limited to,: public affairs, law, economics, accounting,
  152  engineering, finance, natural resource conservation, energy, or
  153  another field substantially related to the duties and functions
  154  of the commission. The commission membership shall fairly
  155  represent these the above-stated fields.
  156         (c) Recommendations of the council shall be nonpartisan.
  157         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.