Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist calls House bid to reform PSC a "gross power grab"

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist summed up his reaction to the House proposal to reform the Public Service Commission with four words Friday: "I would veto it."

"It sounds frankly like a gross power grab against the will of the people and consumers," he told the Times/Herald.

The plan unveiled by the House Energy and Utilities Policy Committee aims to solidify legislative control over water, sewer and electricity by moving the PSC's technical advisers to a newly created Office of Regulatory Staff. That staff would be controlled by the Legislature and have the power to open a case asking the PSC to raise or reduce rates.

Crist believes the concept is misguided because it allows the Legislature to control the nominations of PSC commissioners, the appointment of the director of the regulatory staff and policies the staff implements.

"If the bill in its current form were to pass, I would veto it without a doubt. It's ridiculous," he said.

He suggested that the proposal, which could disqualify one or two PSC members Crist has appointed, is also a retaliation for the board's votes last year against rate increases sought by Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy. The final rates allowed the companies to earn the same profits this year as last year.

"It looks like an exact reaction to the fact that the PSC didn't let those rates go through the roof," Crist said.

Members of the House Energy Committee — which discussed the House bill at a workshop this week — suggested that, under the current system, the governor has too much influence over the PSC while the Legislature, which controls the nominating process for appointments, has too little.

Crist said he supports a Senate bill to tighten the ethics rules for PSC commissioners and their staff members. That bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, passed out of the Senate, 39-1, during the first week of session.

"If they pass that bill, I would sign it," Crist said.

Crist calls House bid to reform PSC a "gross power grab" 03/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 19, 2010 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  3. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  4. At College World Series, the save goes to an LSU dad/doctor

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The father of LSU pitcher Jared Poche' helped revive an 87-year-old man who was slumped on the TD Ameritrade Park concourse with no pulse during Game 1 of the College World Series finals.

    UF’s Tyler Dyson delivers against LSU in Tuesday’s late CWS Game 2. Go to tampabay.com/sports.
  5. Plant City police searching for drive-by shooter

    News

    PLANT CITY — Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in an early morning drive-by shooting outside a home.

    John J. Keeper, 49, was shot in the thigh in a drive-by shooting early Tuesday outside this home at 516 E Laura St. in Plant City. [Hillsborough County Property Appraiser]