Alabama Public Service Commission
|Alabama Public Service Commission|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$24,866,611|
|Length of term:||6 years|
|Authority:||Code of Alabama, Title 37-1-1|
|Leadership:||Twinkle Cavanaugh (R)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Alabama Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
The current commissioners are Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (President) and Terry Dunn (R). Both were elected in 2010. Former commission President Lucy Baxley (D) was ousted in the 2012 general election by Cavanaugh, whom Baxley had originally defeated for the position in 2008. After losing to Cavanaugh, Baxley retired from politics. The third seat on the commission is held by Jeremy Oden who was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley on November 30, 2012.
The Alabama Public Service Commission was created by the Alabama Legislature in 1915 out of the Railroad Commission that was created in 1881. Between 1881-1915 the duties of the Commission were expanded to include regulating utilities that provided electricity, gas, water, and steam, leading the legislature to decide on the change. Since then it has been further expanded to include utility rates, motor transportation companies, air carriers, and natural gas transmission and distribution.
The Public Service Commission's authority and duties and are established by Title 37 of the Code of Alabama.
|A commission to be known as the Public Service Commission, consisting of a president and two associates who shall be competent persons and qualified electors of this state, is established.|
The only qualification established for members of the Public Service Commission is that the incumbent may not be an employee or have any "pecuniary interest," including stock ownership, in any utility.
Code of Alabama, Section 37-1-6:
|No person owning any stock in any utility, or in the employment of any utility or pecuniarily interested in any utility, as defined in this title, shall be eligible to the office of public service commissioner.|
Presidents of the Public Service Commission are elected on the first Tuesday after the first Monday every four years during presidential election years (2004, 2008, 2012, etc.). Two associate commissioners are elected every four years during congressional midterm election years (2006, 2010, 2014, etc.). Presidents assume office on the day after election.
|Alabama Public Service Commission President General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Lucy Baxley Incumbent||45.8%||909,323|
|Election Results via Alabama Secretary of State.|
There are no term limits for the Public Service Commission.
Details of vacancy appointments are addressed in Section 37-1-3 of the Alabama Code. If a vacancy occurs on the public service commission, the governor has the power to fill the unexpired term.
Commissioners supervise and regulate the state's electricity, gas, water, railroad, and telecommunications companies. Additionally, it supervises transportation companies operating toll bridges, ferries, or roads. The Commission's mission is "To ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical."
The Public Service Commission consists of four divisions: Energy, Telecommunications, Transportation, and Legal.
- The Energy Division "oversees the regulation of investor-owned electric, natural gas and water utilities under the Commission's regulatory authority. This responsibility includes monitoring rates and quality of service for 22 companies as well as enforcing safety rules for all natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline systems in Alabama." It consists of five sections: electricity, special projects, natural gas, gas pipeline safety, and water.
|Contact Energy Division|
- The Telecommunications Division holds limited jurisdiction over the regulation of telephone service providers in Alabama. It has two main sections: the Economic Compliance Section and the Service Compliance Section.
|Contact Telecommunications Division|
- The Transportation Division regulates air, motor, and rail carriers. Its six areas include annual reports, auditing, insurance, railway safety, rates and services, and registration.
|Contact Transportation Division|
- The Legal Division is composed of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Law Judges, and legal secretaries. They provide legal assistance to the Commissioners, staff, and the public.
The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $24,866,611.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Since 1881, Alabama has had 19 public service commission presidents.
Click "show" for former officeholders.
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party|
|1||Walter L. Bragg||February 1881||February 1885|
|2||Henry R. Shorter||February 1885||February 1897|
|3||James Crook||February 1897||February 1901|
|4||John V. Smith||March 1901||March 1905|
|5||B.B. Comer||March 1905||January 1907|
|6||Charles Henderson||January 1907||January 1915|
|7||Samuel P. Kennedy||June 1915||January 1923|
|8||A.G. Patterson||January 1923||January 1927|
|9||Hugh White||January 1927||January 1945|
|10||Gordon Persons||January 1945||January 1951|
|11||C.C. (Jack) Owen||January 1951||January 1965|
|12||Eugene (Bull) Conner||January 1965||January 1973|
|13||Kenneth Hammond||January 1973||December 1975|
|14||C.C. Whatley||December 1975||January 1977|
|15||Juanita W. McDaniel||January 1977||February 1980|
|16||William J. Samford, Jr.||February 1980||January 1981|
|17||Billy Joe Camp||January 1981||January 1983|
|18||Jim Sullivan||February 1983||November 2008|
|19||Lucy Baxley||November 2008||Present||Democratic|
100 N. Union Street, Suite 800
Montgomery, AL 36104
- ↑ SeattlePI.com "Governor appoints Rep. Oden to Alabama PSC" Accessed December 3, 2012
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Alabama Public Service Commission, "Mission & History, retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Code of Alabama, "Title 37 - Public Service Commission," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Code of Alabama, "Section 37-1-6," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Code of Alabama, "Section 37-1-3," accessed May 31, 2011.
- ↑ Code of Alabama, "Section 37-1-3," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Alabama Public Service Commission, "Energy Division," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Alabama Public Service Commission, "Telecommunications Division," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Alabama Public Service Commission, "Transportation Division," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Alabama Public Service Commission, "Legal Division," retrieved April 24, 2011
- ↑ Alabama Government Website "State of Alabama General Fund, 2013 FY Appropriations," Accessed March 29, 2013
- ↑ Alabama Public Service Commission, "Past Commissioners," retrieved April 24, 2011