Florida Senate - 2014 SB 964
By Senator Legg
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
23 350.01 Florida Public Service Commission; terms of
24 commissioners; vacancies; election and duties of chair; quorum;
26 (1) APPOINTMENT.—The Florida Public Service Commission
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 te rm, except that The following vacancies terms of
39 the initial members appointed under this act shall be filled as
41 1. The vacancies vacancy created by the expiration of the
42 two terms present t er m 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 tw o present ter ms 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
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 shal l co nstitute 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
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.