Difference between revisions of "Minnesota Public Utilities Commission"

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[[File:MN PUC Organizational chart.JPG|300px|thumb|right|Click [http://web1.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/File:MN_PUC_Organizational_chart.JPG here] to view a larger-scale image of the  Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Organizational Chart as of June 2013.]]
 
There are seven divisions within the commission, not including the commissioners themselves.  
 
There are seven divisions within the commission, not including the commissioners themselves.  
  

Revision as of 08:54, 31 July 2013

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013-2014 FY Budget:  $6,457,000
Total Seats:  5
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   6 years
Authority:  Minnesota Statutes 216A.03
Leadership:  Beverly Jones Heydinger
Selection Method:  Appointed by the governor
Other Minnesota Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerCommerce CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Utilities Commission
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is a five member board that regulates the electric, natural gas and telephones industries in Minnesota.

The mission of the commission is "to create and maintain a regulatory environment that ensures safe, reliable and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates."[1]

Current officeholder

The current chair is Beverly Jones Heydinger. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her chair of the Commission on July 2, 2012.[2] Commissioners include:[3]

Authority

The Minnesota Public Utilities' powers are derived from Chapter 216A of the Minnesota Statutes.

Chapter 216A , Section 01:

...The Public Utilities Commission shall have and possess all of the rights and powers and perform all of the duties vested in it by this chapter and those formerly vested by law in the Railroad and Warehouse Commission.[4]

Qualifications

Chapter 216A, Section 03 of the Minnesota Statutes establishes the qualifications of the commission:

...Not more than three commissioners shall belong to the same political party. At least one commissioner must have been domiciled at the time of appointment outside the seven-county metropolitan area. If the membership of the commission after July 31, 1986, does not consist of at least one member domiciled at the time of appointment outside the seven-county metropolitan area, the membership shall conform to this requirement following normal attrition of the present commissioners. The governor when selecting commissioners shall give consideration to persons learned in the law or persons who have engaged in the profession of engineering, public accounting, property and utility valuation, finance, physical or natural sciences, production agriculture, or natural resources as well as being representative of the general public. For purposes of this subdivision, "seven-county metropolitan area" means Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties.[5]

  • no more than three commissioners of the same political party.
  • at least one must live outside of the seven-county metropolitan area.
  • have knowledge or work experience with the law, engineering, public accounting, property and utility valuation, finance, physical or natural sciences, production agriculture, or natural resources.
  • representative of the general public.

Appointments

Per 216A.03 of the Minnesota Statutes, the governor appoints the public utilities commissioners to six year terms with the advice and consent of the Senate.[6]

Vacancies

Vacancies in the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission are handled under the procedure outlined in Chapter 15, Section 0575 of the Minnesota Statutes.

Commissioners can be removed from office for cause, for which there must be a notice and hearing. They can also be removed after missing three consecutive meetings. A vacancy can also be created by a members death, retirement, etc. These vacancies can be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former officer by a gubernatorial appointment with the advice and consent of the senate.[7]

Duties

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regulates three cornerstone service industries in Minnesota's economy, i.e., electricity, natural gas and telephone.[8]

Divisions

Click here to view a larger-scale image of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Organizational Chart as of June 2013.

There are seven divisions within the commission, not including the commissioners themselves.

Consumer Affairs Office (CAO)

The Consumer Affairs Office (CAO) is the public contact office for the commission. It provides consumer education and dispute resolution. It is also in charge of mail services, hearing tapes, hearing room access and hearing traffic control. The administration of Cold and Hot Weather laws governing natural gas and electric service termination, Link-up American phone discount programs are also under the purview of the CAO.[9]


Energy Unit

The Energy Unit deals with all natural gas and electric matters before the Commission. These cases can includ rate changes, energy resource planning and certification, service area matters, mergers and acquisitions, and formal complaints. The Unit also monitors structural changes in the natural gas and electric industries.[9]


Energy Facilities Permitting Unit

The Energy Facilities Permitting Unit manages the site and route permitting of energy facilities, such as power plants, wind turbines, transmission lines and pipelines.[9]


Telecommunications Unit

The Telecommunications Unit handles issues surrounding telephone companies' rates and services.[9]


Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary "manages staff support to the five commissioners in addition to coordinating agency-wide strategic planning and policy development, legislative initiatives, fiscal operations and day-to-day operations of the agency." As of July 2013, the Executive Secretary is Burl W. Haar, who assumed this position in 1993.[9]


Business and IT Services Unit

The Business and IT Services Unit provides support in recruitment, compensation administration, benefits information and processing, labor relations, facilities management and more. The unit also handles general accounting, budget support services and administrative assistance to the Commissioners and the Executive Secretary.[9]


Legal Unit

The Legal Unit reviews summary orders, policy precedents, writes orders to describe Commission decisions, coordinates rule-making and prepares minutes from Commission agenda meetings.[9]


State budget

The Public Utilities Commission's budget for 2014 is $6,457,000.[10]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

2012

In 2012, the commissioner were paid an estimated $88,448. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

2010

In 2010, Minnesota Commissioners of Public Utilities were paid an estimated $88,448 according to the Council of State Governments.[11]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Minnesota Public Utilities 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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Contact information

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
121 7th Place E., Suite 350
Saint Paul, MN 55101-2147
Consumer Assistance: 651.296.0406
Administration: 651.296.7124
Toll Free: 800.657.3782
Fax: 651.297.7073
Email: consumer.puc@state.mn.us

See also

External links

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References