Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
|Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$8,733,815|
|Length of term:||6 years|
|Authority:||Rhode Island general laws, § 42-14.3-1|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Other Rhode Island Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
Margaret E. “Meg” Curran was nominated to chair the commission by Governor Lincoln Chafee on May 29, 2013. Curran would replace Elia Germani as chair of the commission, as Germani's term expired March 1, 2013 and he was not reappointed. Curran would serve alongside commissioner Paul Roberti and Mary Bray. Curran's appointment passed the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Commerce on June 18. The appointment must receive approval from the full Senate. 
The public utilities commission is established in Section 42-14.3-1 of the Rhode Island general laws.
|There shall be a public utilities commission. The head of the commission shall be the chairperson of the public utilities commission, who shall carry out, except as otherwise provided by this title, the provisions of chapters 1 – 20, inclusive, of title 39, and of all other general laws and public laws heretofore carried out by the former administrator of public utilities and carriers and division of public utilities and carriers.|
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The commissioners are appointed by the governor, the the advice and consent of the state senate, to a six year term. The commissioners are selected "with regard to their qualifications and experience in law and government, energy matters, economics and finance, and engineering and accounting," and are eligible to succeed themselves.
According to Title 39 of the Rhode Island general laws, a vacancy in the office of a commissioner (other than by expiration of a term) shall be filled by gubernatorial appointment. The appointee will serve the remainder of the unexpired term.
According to Title 39 of the Rhode Island general laws, the commission serves as a quasi-judicial tribunal. The commission has the jurisdiction, powers, and duties to:
- implement and enforce the standards of conduct under § 39-1-27.6
- hold investigations and hearings involving the rates, tariffs, tolls, and charges, and the sufficiency and reasonableness of facilities and accommodations of railroad, gas, electric distribution, water, telephone, telegraph, and pipeline public utilities, the location of railroad depots and stations, and the control of grade crossings, the revocation, suspension, or alteration of certificates issued pursuant to § 39-19-4, appeals under § 39-1-30, petitions under § 39-1-31, and proceedings under § 39-1-32.
- Natural gas
- Cable TV
- Motor carriers
- Ferry services
The budget for the Public Utilities Commission in Fiscal Year 2013 was $8,733,815.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
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Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
89 Jefferson Boulevard
Warwick, RI 02888
Phone: (401) 941-4500
- Providence Journal, "Chafee nominates former U.S. Attorney to chair Public Utilities Commission," accessed June 22, 2013
- Providence Journal, "Curran’s PUC nomination clears R.I. Senate panel," accessed June 22, 2013
- Rhode Island general laws, "Title 39: Public Utilities and Carriers; Section 39-1-4: Composition of commission - Terms - Vacancies," accessed October 7, 2011
- Rhode Island Budget Office, "FY 2013 Appropriations Act," accessed April 10, 2013