Florida Senate - 2015 SB 170
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, 2015, to remain in
5 office until the completion of his or her term;
6 deleting obsolete provisions; prohibiting
7 commissioners appointed after July 1, 2015, from
8 serving more than two consecutive terms; prohibiting
9 an elected official from serving on the commission
10 within a specified period of time after he or she
11 leaves office; making technical changes; amending s.
12 350.031, F.S.; creating five districts with boundaries
13 that align with those of the five state district
14 courts of appeal for the purpose of statewide
15 representation on the commission; requiring one
16 commissioner to be appointed to represent each
17 district; requiring the Florida Public Service
18 Commission Nominating Council to select nominees who
19 are residents of the district they are being nominated
20 to represent; providing an effective date.
22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
24 Section 1. Section 350.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
26 350.01 Florida Public Service Commission; terms of
27 commissioners; vacancies; election and duties of chair; quorum;
29 (1) APPOINTMENT.—The Florida Public Service Commission
shall consist of five commissioners appointed pursuant
31 to s. 350.031.
32 (2)(a) Each commissioner serving on July 1, 2015 1978, is
33 authorized shall be permitted to remain in office until the
34 completion of his or her current term. An individual serving on
35 July 1, 2015, who was appointed to fill a vacancy for an
36 unexpired portion of a term of a commissioner is authorized to
37 remain in office until completing such term.
38 (b) Upon the expiration of a the term, a successor shall be
39 appointed for a 4-year term beginning on January 2 and ending 4
40 years later on January 1 in the manner prescribed by s. 350.031.
41 for a 4-year te rm, except that The following vacancies terms of
42 the initial members appointed under this act shall be filled as
44 1. The vacancy created by the expiration of the term
45 present t er m ending in January 2017 , 1981 , shall be filled by
46 the appointment of an individual representing one of the
47 established districts for a 4-year term and for 4-year terms
48 thereafter; and
49 2. The vacancies created by the expiration of the two
50 present terms ending in January 2018 , 1979 , shall be filled by
51 the appointment of two individuals representing districts not
52 represented by the appointment made under subparagraph 1.; and
53 for a 3-year term and for 4-year terms thereafter
54 3. The vacancies created by the expiration of the two terms
55 ending in January 2019 shall be filled by the appointment of two
56 individuals, each representing a district not represented by the
57 appointments made under subparagraphs 1. and 2.
58 (b) Two additional commissioners shall be appointed in the
59 manner prescribed by s. 350.031 for 4-year terms beginning the
60 first Tuesday after the first Monday in January, 1979, and
61 successors shall be appointed for 4-year terms thereafter with
62 each term beginning on January 2 of the year the term commences
63 and ending 4 years later on January 1.
64 (c) Vacancies on the commission shall be filled for the
65 unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as original
66 appointments to the commission.
67 (d) (3) A Any person serving on the commission who seeks
68 reappointment for a second consecutive 4-year term to be
69 appointed or reappointed shall file a statement to that effect
70 with the nominating council by no later than June 1 prior to the
71 year in which his or her term expires a statement that he or she
72 desires to serve an additional term.
73 (e) A commissioner appointed after July 1, 2015, may not
74 serve more than two consecutive terms.
75 (f) An elected official may not serve on the commission for
76 2 years after leaving office.
77 (2) (4) COMMISSION CHAIR.—
78 (a) One member of the commission shall be elected by
79 majority vote to serve as chair for a term of 2 years, beginning
80 on January 2 of the first year of the 2-year term. A member may
81 not serve two consecutive terms as chair.
82 (b) (5) The primary duty of the chair is to serve as chief
83 administrative officer of the commission; however, the chair may
84 participate in any proceedings pending before the commission if
85 when administrative duties and time permit. In order to
86 distribute the workload and expedite the commission’s calendar,
87 the chair, in addition to other administrative duties, may has
88 authority to assign the various proceedings pending before the
89 commission which require requiring hearings to two or more
90 commissioners or to the commission’s staff of hearing examiners
91 under the supervision of the office of general counsel.
92 (3) PROCEEDINGS.—
93 (a) Only those commissioners assigned to a proceeding that
94 requires requiring hearings are entitled to participate in the
95 final decision of the commission relating as to that proceeding;
96 however provided, if only two commissioners are assigned to a
97 proceeding that requires requiring hearings and they cannot
98 agree on a final decision, the chair shall cast the deciding
99 vote for final disposition of the proceeding. If more than two
100 commissioners are assigned to any proceeding, a majority of the
101 members assigned constitutes shal l co nstitute a quorum and a
102 majority vote of the members assigned is shall be essential to
103 final commission disposition of those proceedings that require
104 requiring actual participation by the commissioners. If a
105 commissioner becomes unavailable after assignment to a
106 particular proceeding, the chair shall assign a substitute
107 commissioner. After the conclusion of hearings in those
108 proceedings assigned to a hearing examiner, following the
109 conclusion of the hearings, the designated hearing examiner is
110 responsible for preparing recommendations for final disposition
111 by a majority vote of the commission. A petition for
112 reconsideration shall be voted upon by those commissioners
113 participating in the final disposition of the proceeding.
114 (b) (6) A majority of the commissioners may determine
115 whether that the full commission shall sit in any proceeding.
116 (c) The public counsel or a person regulated by the Public
117 Service commission and substantially affected by a proceeding
118 may file a petition requesting that the proceeding be assigned
119 to the full commission. Within 15 days after of receipt by the
120 commission of a any petition or application, the full commission
121 shall dispose of the such petition by majority vote and render a
122 written decision before thereon prior to assignment of less than
123 the full commission to a proceeding. In disposing of such
124 petition, the commission shall consider the overall general
125 public interest and impact of the pending proceeding, including,
126 but not limited to, the following criteria: the magnitude of a
127 rate filing, including the number of customers affected and the
128 total revenues requested; the services rendered to the affected
129 public; the urgency of the requested action; the needs of the
130 consuming public and the utility; the value of service involved;
131 the effect on consumer relations, regulatory policies,
132 conservation, the economy, competition, and the public health ,
133 and safety of the area involved. If the petition is denied, the
134 commission shall specify set forth the grounds for denial.
135 (d) (7) This section does not prohibit a commissioner,
136 designated by the chair, from conducting a hearing as provided
137 under ss. 120.569 and 120.57(1) and the rules of the commission
138 rule adopted pursuant thereto.
139 Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 350.031, Florida
140 Statutes, is amended to read:
141 350.031 Florida Public Service Commission Nominating
143 (5)(a) To provide for statewide representation on the
144 commission, five districts, with boundaries that align with
145 those of the five state district courts of appeal established
146 under chapter 35, are created. A person may not be nominated to
147 the Governor for appointment to the commission unless he or she
148 is a resident of the district that he or she is nominated to
150 (b) A person may not be nominated to the Governor for
151 appointment to the Public Service commission until the council
152 has determined that the person is competent and knowledgeable in
153 one or more fields, including which shall include, but not be
154 limited to, : public affairs, law, economics, accounting,
155 engineering, finance, natural resource conservation, energy, or
156 another field substantially related to the duties and functions
157 of the commission. The commission membership shall fairly
158 represent these the above-stated fields.
159 (c) Recommendations of the council shall be nonpartisan.
160 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.