Florida Senate - 2015                                     SB 170
       By Senator Legg
       17-00088A-15                                           2015170__
    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
   25  read:
   26         350.01 Florida Public Service Commission; terms of
   27  commissioners; vacancies; election and duties of chair; quorum;
   28  proceedings.—
   29         (1) APPOINTMENT.—The Florida Public Service Commission
   30  consists 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 term, except that The following vacancies terms of
   42  the initial members appointed under this act shall be filled as
   43  follows:
   44         1. The vacancy created by the expiration of the term
   45  present term 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 shall constitute 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
  142  Council.—
  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
  149  represent.
  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.