Adds six ex officio members to the public service commission; adds the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the assembly, the temporary president of the senate and the minority leader of the senate as ex officio voting members; adds the attorney general and the state comptroller as non-voting members.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to the membership of the public service commission
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To increase the number of members on the public service commission by adding certain ex-officio members.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one - amends section four of the Public Service Law relating to appointments to the Public Service Commission by adding four ex-officio voting members, consisting of the majority and minority leaders of both houses of the Legislature, and two ex-officio non-voting members, consisting of the State Attorney General and State Comptroller, or their designees.
Section two - provides that this act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: The law establishing a five-member statewide Public Service Commission was originally enacted in 1921, at a time of telegraph companies and the advent of telephone service and radios. The utility and telecommunications landscape has changed dramatically since then.
With the commission being asked to investigate and consider more issues, and as its jurisdiction continues to expand, there is a compelling need to increase the number of commissioners to ensure a broad representation of customers, service providers and other interested parties; and of the different geographic areas and diverse communities of the state.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6867 IN SENATE March 21, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommu- nications AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to the membership of the public service commission THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 4 of the public service law, as amended by chapter 155 of the laws of 1970, is amended as follows: S 4. The public service commission. 1. There shall be in the depart- ment of public service a public service commission, which shall possess the powers and duties hereinafter specified, and also all powers neces- sary or proper to enable it to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The commission shall consist of MEMBERS AND EX OFFICIO MEMBERS AS FOLLOWS: (A) five members, to be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. A commissioner APPOINTED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH shall be designated as chairman of the commission by the governor to serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the governor or until his OR HER term as commissioner expires whichever first occurs. No more than three commissioners APPOINTED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH may be members of the same political party
[unless, pursuant to action taken under subdivision two, the number of commissioners shall exceed five, and in such event no more than four commissioners may be members of the same political party]. (B) FOUR MEMBERS SHALL BE EX OFFICIO VOTING MEMBERS, AS FOLLOWS: (I) THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY; (II) THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY; (III) THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE; AND (IV) THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE. (C) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE EX OFFICIO NON-VOTING MEMBERS, AS FOLLOWS: (I) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK; AND (II) THE COMPTROLLER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14060-04-4 S. 6867 2
[Notwithstanding subdivision one, whenever the commission shall certify to the governor that additional commissioners are needed for the proper disposition of the business before it, the governor may increase the membership of the commission to seven members by appointing two additional commissioners by and with the advice and consent of the senate. The terms of office of such additional commissioners and the filling of vacancies during such terms shall be governed by subdivision three, except that upon the expiration of the terms of such additional commissioners, no further appointments or reappointments shall be made to such additional offices, unless the commission shall first certify to the governor that the need for additional commissioners continues to exist. 3.]The term of office of a commissioner APPOINTED PURSUANT TO PARA- GRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION shall be six years from the first day of February of the calendar year in which he OR SHE shall be appointed and SUCH commissioners shall serve on a full-time basis. Upon a vacancy [occuring]OCCURRING otherwise than by expiration of term in the office of any SUCH commissioner, the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall fill the vacancy by appointment for the unexpired term. 3. AN EX OFFICIO MEMBER MAY APPOINT A DESIGNEE TO REPRESENT HIM OR HER ON THE COMMISSION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.