Wisconsin Public Service Commission
|Wisconsin Public Service Commission|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$24,483,300|
|Length of term:||6 years|
|Authority:||Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 15.79|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Other Wisconsin Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
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. 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.
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. 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. He holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.
Commissioner Ellen Nowak was appointed to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in July 2011 by Governor Scott Walker. 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. She holds a law degree from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
The creation of the Public Service Commission is designated in Wisconsin Statutes.
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 of Public Service Commissioners are detailed within the Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapter 15.79 (2):
A commissioner of the public service commission may not do any of the following:
- Be a candidate for public office in any election.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve on or under any committee of a political party.
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."
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches the constitutional or statutory text that details the process of filling vacancies for a state executive office. That information for the Wisconsin Public Service Commission has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.
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.
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. 
The main divisions of the Public Service Commission are:
- Natural Gas & Energy Division
- Telecommunications Division
- Division of Water, Compliance, and Consumer Affairs (DWCCA)
- Division of Administrative Services
- The Office of General Counsel (OGC)
The budget for the Public Service Commission in Fiscal Year 2013 was $24,483,300.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
In 2013, the Wisconsin Public Service Commissioners were each paid an estimated $127,500.
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Wisconsin Public Service 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.
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610 North Whitney Way
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7854
P.O. Box 7854
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7854
- Public Service Commission of Wisconsin "Organization Chart" Accessed July 20, 2012
- PSC-WI "Commissioners" Accessed July 20, 2012
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- Wisconsin Statutes, "Chapter 15: Structure of the Executive Branch -- Subchapter I: General Provisions, Section 15.05: Secretaries," accessed July 23, 2012
- PSC-WI "About Us" Accessed July 25, 2012
- Wisconsin Department of Administration, "2013-15 Executive Budget - Public Service Commission," accessed April 3, 2013
- Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries, accessed January 31, 2014