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Mississippi Public Service Commission

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Mississippi Public Service Commission
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Total Seats:  3
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Mississippi Code, Title 77, Chapter 1
Leadership:  Leonard Bentz (R)
Selection Method:  Elected
Other Mississippi Executive Offices
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The Mississippi Public Service Commission is a three-member executive board in the Mississippi state government. The commission, which regulates telecommunications, electric, gas, water and sewer utilities in the state of Mississippi. The Commission was established in 1884.

Current officeholder

The current chairman is Leonard Bentz (R), who serves the Southern District. He was appointed to the Commission in 2006 and has been Chairman since 2013. Brandon Presley (D) serves the Northern District and Lynn Posey (R) serves the Central District.

Authority

The Public Service Commission is created under Title 77-1-1 of the Mississippi Code.[1]

A public service commission, hereinafter referred to in this chapter as the commission, is hereby created, consisting of three (3) members, one (1) to be elected from each of the three (3) Supreme Court districts by the qualified electors of such district.

Qualifications

In order to serve on the Public Service Commission, a person must be:[2]

  • A qualified elector
  • At least 25 years of age
  • A resident of the state for five years proceeding election
  • A resident of the Supreme Court district in which election is sought

Elections

Public service commissioners are elected to four year terms with no term limits. Mississippi belongs to the handful of states that hold off-year elections, that is, elections in off-numbered years that are neither Presidential nor midterm years. In Mississippi's case, elections are held in the year after a midterm and before a Presidential; thus, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019 are all public service commissioner election years.

Duties

As outlined on the PSC website, the duties of the commissioners are as follows:[3]

  • Regulate telecommunications, electric, gas, water and sewer utilities
  • Assure rates and charges for services are just and reasonable
  • Assure service rendered is reasonably adequate
  • Assure any facilities constructed or acquired are required for the convenience and necessity of the public
  • Exercise safety jurisdiction over gas pipelines and area jurisdiction over all public utilities
  • Answer complaints, make investigation and conduct formal and informal hearings.

Divisions

Click here to view a larger-scale image of the Mississippi PSC Organizational Chart as of 2009.

The Public Service Commission has 6 main divisions.

Natural Gas Division

The Natural Gas Division "represents the public interest with regard to the regulation of investor-owned and certain municipal natural gas utilities in Mississippi."

Electric Division

The Electric Division "represents the public interest with regard to the regulation of the two major investor-owned electric utilities in the state, Entergy Mississippi, Inc. and Mississippi Power Company."

Sewer Division

The Sewer Division "investigates all sewer filings before the Public Service Commission and makes recommendations thereon. Filings reviewed include applications for construction of facilities, applications to serve customers, and notices to revise the rates and charges authorized by the Commission."

Water Division

The Water Division "investigates all water filings before the Public Service Commission and makes recommendations thereon. Filings reviewed include applications for construction of facilities, applications to serve customers, and notices to revise the rates and charges authorized by the Commission."

Telecommunications Division

The Telecommunications Division "represents the public interest with regard to the regulation of incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers and intrastate long distance carriers in Mississippi."

Pipeline Safety Division

The Pipeline Safety Division protects "the public and environment from the accidental release of natural gas or hazardous liquid products with a technologically advanced compliance program that promotes educational standards for the industry and contributes to the health and security of Mississippi.."

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, Mississippi Public Service Commissioners was paid an estimated $141,505. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Contact information

Mississippi

Mississippi Public Service Commission
Brian U. Ray, Executive Secretary
P.O. Box 1174
Jackson, MS 39215-1174
Phone: 601-961-5434
Fax: 601-961-5469

See also

External links

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References