Fasano, Precourt open talks on PSC reform
Negotiations began Monday between two key lawmakers on one of the major bills of the 2010 session: reforming the Public Service Commission, the agency that regulates utilities in Florida.
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, met in Fasano's office for about a half hour with three staff members present (Fasano notified reporters the session would be open). It looks like the final bill may mandate a study of whether the PSC should be restructured into two entities: a decision-making body and a separate Office of Regulatory Staff.
Fasano strongly objected to a House proposal to move the Public Counsel, who represents ratepayers in utility matters, from the Legislature to the Attorney General. Fasano also balked at a House proposal to impose minimum educational qualifications for PSC members -- an idea he said was a retaliatory move directed at Commissioner Nancy Argenziano.
"I think we made some progress," Fasano said after the meeting. "I'm much more optimistic." (The bills are SB 1034 and HB 7209).