Nebraska Public Service Commission

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Nebraska Public Service Commission
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-13 FY Budget:  $2,359,563
Total Seats:  5
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   6 years
Authority:  Nebraska Constitution, Article IV, Section 20
Leadership:  Tim Schram (R)
Selection Method:  Elected
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Nebraska Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources DirectorLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Nebraska Public Service Commission is an elected state executive position in the Nebraska state government. The Chairman serves as head of the five member commission.

The Commission regulates railroads, household goods and passenger carriers, telephone companies, grain warehouses and construction of manufactured homes.

Current officeholder

The current Chairman is Tim Schram who represents District 3 and vice-chairman is Rod Johnson who represents District 4. Commissioners include: Frank E. Landis, Jr. (District 1), Anne C. Boyle (District 2) and Gerald L. Vap (District 5).

Authority

The state Constitution establishes the public service commission in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section 20:

There shall be a Public Service Commission, consisting of not less than three nor more than seven members, as the Legislature shall prescribe, whose term of office shall be six years, and whose compensation shall be fixed by the Legislature.

Not known as the Public Service Commission until 1972, the PSC's roots date back to the Railway Commission of 1885, created to regulate railroads. The Railway Commission lasted until 1887, when the Nebraska Legislature created a Board of Transportation. The law creating the Board was found unconstitutional by a 1901 Supreme Court ruling. The Legislature took over regulating railroads until the passage of a constitutional amendment in 1906 creating a three member elected Railway Commission, with members serving six-year terms. Membership was increased to five in 1964 and the state was divided into five districts, each to elect a commissioner. The name was changed to the current Public Service Commission by a general election vote in 1972.[1]

Qualifications

Qualifications for members of the Public Service commission are outlined in the revised state statutes:[2]

  • Be resident citizens of the state
  • Registered voters
  • If members of or practitioners in any profession, in good standing according to the established standards of such profession
  • Be a resident of the district from which he or she seeks election
  • Be a resident of the district from which he or she is elected, removal from the district shall cause a vacancy in the office
  • Cannot be directly or indirectly interested in any common carrier or jurisdictional utility in the state or out of it or who is in any way or manner pecuniarily interested in any common carrier
  • Not hold any other office under the government of the United States, of this state, or of any other state and shall not, while such commissioner, engage in any other occupation

Elections

Public service commissioners are elected to six year terms.

2012

See also: Nebraska state executive official elections, 2012

Incumbents Frank Landis (R) and Tim Schram (R) ran unopposed in both the primary election and in the November 6, 2012 general election.

Nebraska Public Service Commission District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngFrank Landis Incumbent 100% 114,019
Total Votes 114,019
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.


Nebraska Public Service Commission District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTim Schram Incumbent 100% 127,390
Total Votes 127,390
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.


Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy, the governor appoints a replacement to fill out the remainder of the unexpired term.[3]

Divisions

The Public Service Commission is composed of four departments: Transportation, Communications, Grain Warehouse, and Housing and Recreational Vehicles.[1]

Transportation Department

The Transportation Department regulates railroads, household goods, and passenger carriers.[1]

Contact Transportation Department:
Mark Breiner, Director
Email: mark.breiner@nebraska.gov

Communications Department

The Communications Department regulates telephone companies, engineering, and private water companies.[1]

Contact Communications Department:
M. Gene Hand, Director
Email: gene.hand@nebraska.gov

Grain Warehouse Department

The Grain Warehouse Department regulates grain production.[1]

Contact Grain Warehouse Department:
John Fecht, Director
Email: john.fecht@nebraska.gov

Housing and Recreational Vehicle Department

The Housing and Recreational Vehicle Department regulates mobile homes, modular housing units, and recreational vehicles.[1]

Contact Housing and Recreational Vehicles Department:
Mark Luttich, Director
Email: mark.luttich@nebraska.gov

Duties

Public service commissioners are responsible for regulating the following:[4]

  • Telecommunication carriers
  • Natural gas jurisdictional utilities
  • Mayor oil pipelines
  • Railroad safety
  • Household goods movers and passenger carriers
  • Grain warehouses and dealers
  • Construction of manufactured and modular homes and recreational vehicles
  • High voltage electric transmission lines
  • Private water company rates

The Commission also oversees and administers the following statutorily created funds:

  • The Nebraska Universal Service Fund
  • The Enhanced Wireless 911 Fund
  • The Nebraska Telecommunications Relay System Fund

State budget

The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2012-13 was $2,359,563.[5]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Nebraska Public Service Commissioners were paid an estimated $120,164 according to the Council of State Governments.

The state Constitution addresses compensation for state executive officials in Article IV, Section 25.

The officers provided for in this article shall receive such salaries as may be provided by law. Such officers, or such other officers as may be provided for by law, shall not receive for their own use any fees, costs, or interest upon public money in their hands.

Contact information

Chairman Tim Schram
Email: tim.schram@nebraska.gov
Phone: 1-800-526-0017

Nebraska Public Service Commission
1200 N Street, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: 402-471-3101
Toll Free: 1-800-526-0017 (Nebraska Only)
TDD: 402-471-0213
Fax: 402-471-0254

See also

External links

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References