Arkansas Public Service Commission

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Arkansas Public Service Commission
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $12,815,377
Total Seats:  3
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at pleasure of the governor
Authority:  Arkansas Code, Title 23, Chapter 2, Section 101
Leadership:  Ted J. Thomas
Selection Method:  Appointed by governor
Other Arkansas Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerCommissioner of State LandsNatural Resources Exec. DirectorLabor DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Arkansas Public Service Commission is an appointed executive board in the Arkansas state government. This three-member commission is responsible for regulating the rates and services of Arkansas' electricity, natural gas, water, phone and pipeline safety utilities. The board also determines property taxes for public utilities and carriers.

Current officeholder

The current chair of the commission is Ted J. Thomas. He was first appointed in January 2015 to replace Olan Reeves. Thomas serves alongside Elana Wills and Lamar Davis.[1]


The office of chairman is authorized by Arkansas statute.[2]

Arkansas Code, Title 23, Chapter 2, Section 101

(a)(1) The Arkansas Public Service Commission shall consist of three (3) members to be known as commissioners, one (1) of whom shall be a lawyer.


(f) The Governor shall designate one (1) of the commissioners as chair.


There are no particular qualifications required for the office of chair, though individual commissioners must have resided in the state for five years and be a "qualified elector."[2] To be a qualified elector, one must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Arkansas and at least 18 years old. Additionally, the chair may not have been judged mentally incompetent by a court, be a convicted felon or have ever been convicted of embezzlement or any other "infamous crime." Finally, public service commissioners must swear that they have no pecuniary interest in any of the utilities they regulate.

During their tenure, commissioners may not hold any other state, federal or civil office, and may not have ever been convicted of "embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery, or other infamous crime."

Arkansas Code, Title 23, Chapter 2, Section 101

(2) Each commissioner shall have resided in the state for five (5) years and shall be a qualified elector.

(b) Each commissioner before entering on his or her duties shall take the oath prescribed by the Constitution, shall swear that he or she is not pecuniarily interested in any public utility or affiliate, or any public carrier or affiliate therewith, as employee, stockholder, or security holder.

Constitution of Arkansas, Article 5, Section 9

No person hereafter convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to the General Assembly or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.

Constitution of Arkansas, Article 19, Section 3

No persons shall be elected to, or appointed to fill a vacancy in, any office who does not possess the qualifications of an elector.


Arkansas state government organizational chart

Members of the commission are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate. One commissioner is designated by the governor as chairman and serves in that capacity until their term as commissioner expires.[2]

Term limits

There are no term limits associated with the offices of commissioner or chair.


State law prescribes no special procedure for dealing with vacancies in the office of public service commissioner/chair.


The Arkansas Public Service Commission is a quasi-executive, quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial body that regulates the state's public utilities, including electricity, natural gas, telecommunications and water firms. It manages the rates utilities charge customers, seeking to provide companies a "fair return" on investment, and sets operational/safety standards. As part of the regulatory process, the commission's administrative judges hold hearings and receive testimony from various stakeholders -- industry representatives, experts, consumer advocates, etc. The commission also coordinates its rulemaking with various federal regulatory bodies (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Communications Commission, et al.).

Besides its regulatory duties, the commission provides customer service to Arkansas consumers; it answers questions and addresses complaints against regulated companies.[3]


  • Administrative Law Judges
  • Legal
  • Research and Policy Development
  • Administrative Services
  • Information Technology
  • Support Staff
  • ARRA Grant
  • Secretary of the Commission
  • Executive Director's Office
  • Electric Utilities
  • Gas and Water Utilities
    • Pipeline Safety
  • Telecommunications Utilities
    • Quality of Service
  • Financial Analysis
  • Cost Allocation and Rate Design
  • Audits
  • Legal
  • Consumer Services

State budget

See also: Arkansas state budget and finances

The budget for the Arkansas Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2012 was $12,815,377.[4]



In 2014, the public service commission chair received a salary of $125,493 and other commissioners received $121,090, according to the Council of State Governments.[5][6]


In 2013, each public service commissioner received a salary of $116,501, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Arkansas Public Service Commission has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Arkansas Public Service Commission - Google News Feed

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Mailing Address:
Arkansas Public Service Commission
P.O. Box 400
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-0400

Physical Location:
Arkansas Public Service Commission
1000 Center Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201-4314

Tel: (501)682-2051

See also

External links