Difference between revisions of "Wisconsin Public Service Commission"

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Revision as of 12:51, 25 July 2012

Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Executives
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Agriculture Commissioner
Insurance Commissioner
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Public Service Commission
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission is a three person state executive regulatory board in the Wisconsin state government. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is an independent regulatory agency dedicated to serving the public interest through the regulation of Wisconsin public utilities, including those that are municipally-owned.[1] The PSC works to ensure that, "in the absence of competition, adequate and reasonably priced service is provided to utility customers".[1]

Current officeholder

The current chairman is Phil Montgomery. He serves alongside Eric Callisto and Ellen Nowak.

Chairman Montgomery previously served six terms as an elected state representative from Green Bay. He was appointed to Chairperson of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in March 2011 by Governor Scott Walker.[2] As a state representative from 1998 to 2010, Montgomery served on the Joint Committee on Finance, Chaired the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities and Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology, and has served on other related committees in the Assembly and on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston and is a former systems engineer.[2]

Commissioner Eric Callisto has served on the Commission since May of 2008, when he was appointed by former Governor Jim Doyle. He previously was serving as the Chairperson of the Commission from appointment in May 2008 through February 2011.[3] Prior to his appointment, he was the Executive Assistant to the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission. His previous state government positions include Administrator of the Division of Enforcement at the Department of Regulation and Licensing and Assistant Legal Counsel to the Governor. From 1997 through 2003, Callisto was an Assistant Attorney General at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, in both the Environmental Protection and Civil Litigation units. He also previously worked as a public defender in New York City and Philadelphia, and as a policy advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C.[2] He holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.[2]

Commissioner Ellen Nowak was appointed to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in July 2011 by Governor Scott Walker.[2] Prior to her appointment, she was the chief of staff to Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas. From 2002-2006 she was the legal counsel and then chief of staff to the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. She also worked as the deputy director of School Choice Wisconsin. From 1998-2002, Nowak practiced business litigation at Mallery & Zimmerman, SC in Milwaukee.[2] She holds a law degree from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.[2]

Authority

The creation of the Public Service Commission is designated in Wisconsin Statutes.

Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 15.79, Public service commission; creation

There is created a public service commission. No member of the commission may have a financial interest in a railroad, water carrier, or public utility. If any member voluntarily becomes so interested, the member's office shall become vacant. If the member involuntarily becomes so interested, the member's office shall become vacant unless the member divests himself or herself of the interest within a reasonable time. Each commissioner shall hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified.

Qualifications

Within the Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapter 15.79 (2) qualifications of Public Service Commissioners are detailed:

A commissioner of the public service commission may not do any of the following: (a) Be a candidate for public office in any election. (b) Directly or indirectly solicit or receive any contribution, as defined in s. 11.01 (6), for any political purpose, as defined in s. 11.01 (16), from any person within or outside of the state. (c) Act as an officer or manager for any candidate, political party, or committee organized to promote the candidacy of any person for any public office. (d) Serve on or under any committee of a political party.

Appointments

Under Chapter 15.05 of the Wisconsin Statutes, the secretary is nominated by the governor, with the advice and consent of the state Senate, and serves as the pleasure of the governor.[4]

According to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission of Wisconsin website, "Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the state Senate for staggered, six-year terms. One of these Commissioners is appointed chairperson by the Governor for a two-year term."[5]

Duties

The Public Service Commission is responsible for the regulation of Wisconsin public utilities, including those that are municipally-owned. Typical types of utilities regulated include electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and combined water and sewer. More than 1,100 utilities are under the agency's jurisdiction. Most of these utilities must obtain PSC approval before: setting new Rates, issuing stocks or bonds, undertaking major construction projects such as power plants, water wells, and transmission lines.[1]

Divisions

The Public Service Commissioners' Office is comprised of the three Commissioners, Executive Assistant to the Chairperson, Executive Assistants to respective commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, the Legislative Liaison, the Administrative Law Judge, Director of Governmental and Public Affairs and Public Information Officer as well as the Commissioners' support staff. [1]

The main divisions of the Public Service Commission are:[1]

  • Natural Gas & Energy Division
  • Telecommunications Division
  • Division of Water, Compliance, and Consumer Affairs (DWCCA)
  • Division of Administrative Services
  • The Office of General Counsel (OGC)

Compensation

In 2010, the Wisconsin Public Service commissioners were each paid an estimated $113,502 according to the Council of State Governments.[6]

Contact info

Address:
610 North Whitney Way
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7854

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 7854
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7854
Phone: (608)266-5481
Fax: (608)266-3957

See also

External links

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References


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