West Virginia Public Service Commission
|West Virginia Public Service Commission|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$19,634,848|
|Length of term:||6 years|
|Authority:||Created by act of the Legislature in 1913|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Other West Virginia Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education• Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner• Natural Resources Commissioner • Secretary of Commerce • Commissioner of Labor • Public Service Commission|
The current chairman is Michael Albert. He serves alongside Jon McKinney. The third seat has been vacant since Ryan Palmer resigned in September 2014 to take a position with the Federal Communications Commission. Chairman Albert's current term expires in 2019.
Although Commissioner McKinney's term expired June 30, 2011, he has been neither re-appointed nor replaced and the governor's office has not offered an explanation. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) did not make a decision about McKinney, leaving the commissioner in his seat without an official appointment as of October 2014.
The Public Service Commission was created in 1913 by the state legislature.
There are no specific qualifications to hold the office of public service commissioner.
All of the commissioners are appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the state senate, to staggered six year terms. One commissioner's term ends on June 30 of each odd numbered year.
Vacancies on the public service commission are filled by gubernatorial appointment with the consent of the state senate. In the event of a vacancy before the six year term has expired, the appointee will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The Public Service Commission supervises and regulates the rates, services, operations, and activities of all people, firms, and government agencies that provide public utility services. The utilities in their jurisdiction include electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, telecommunication, solid waste disposal, and landfills. The commission also regulates many contract motor carriers that transport people and property across public highways, including taxi services, some limousine services, solid waste, transportation service, third-party towing, and household movers.
The commission acts upon petitions from the entities it regulates as well as complaints filed by consumers.
A more exhaustive list of the duties of the public service commission can be found here.
There are several divisions within the public service commission. The administration, general counsel, and executive secretary divisions handle the traditional functions of managing any office that do not relate directly to utilities. The following units perform more specific tasks related to the regulation of public utilities:
- The Engineering Division provides technical recommendations and advice to the commission regarding rates, quality of service, and general operation. The staff also provides assistance to customers and utility companies.
- The Legal Division provides legal opinions on cases brought before the commission for adjudication and resolution, represents commission analysts, and defends the commission in the state and federal court systems.
- The Transportation Administration Division monitors the registration of motor carriers and collects fees and assessments. There are three sectors within the division: motor carrier, hazardous material registration, and coal resource transportation system.
- The Transportation Enforcement Division conducts a variety of safety inspections of motor vehicles and work areas. There are three sectors within the division: safety enforcement, railroad safety, special operations, and logistics.
- The Utilities Division analyzes the records of utility providers and addresses formal customer complaints. The division specializes in telecommunications and cable television regulation.
- The Water/Wastewater Division assists water and sewer public service districts, municipalities, and associations. The division staff also respond to informal complaints, information requests, and general utility inquiries.
The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2013 was $19,634,848.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Chapter 6, Article 7-2 of the West Virginia Code lays out the exact compensation for certain state officers. According to this section of the state code, the salary of each of the public service commissioners, beginning in 2006 and for each calendar year thereafter, shall be $85,000.
In 2013, the public service commissioners' salary remained at $90,000.
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Public Service Commission of West Virginia
201 Brooks Street
Charleston, WV 25301
- Public Service Commission of West Virginia, "Commission History," accessed December 5, 2013
- The Charleston Gazette, "Bill Howley: Independence is key to new PSC appointment," September 17, 2014
- Public Service Commission of West Virginia, "Meet our Chairman and Commissioners," accessed May 23, 2013
- State Journal, "Tomblin reappoints PSC’s Albert; expired McKinney seat still unclear," June 28, 2013
- The Charleston Gazette, "Bill Howley: Independence is key to new PSC appointment - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140917/ARTICLE/140919409#sthash.EQS122yL.dpuf," September 17, 2014
- Public Service Commission of West Virginia, "Commission and staff," accessed June 29, 2011
- Public Service Commission of West Virginia, "Commission history," accessed June 29, 2011
- West Virginia State Budget Office, "Legislature's Enrolled FY 2013 Budget Bill," accessed April 3, 2013
- West Virginia Code, " Retrieved June 20, 2011
- Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries, accessed January 31, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," accessed April 23, 2011