Senate Passes Gianaris’ Bill Reforming NY’s Public Service Commission

New York State Senator Michael Gianaris. Photo: Courtesy of Sen. Michael Gianaris

ALBANY, NY – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced on May 21 that the Senate passed his legislation creating a blue ribbon panel to recommend nominees to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC), with specific criteria to be met by nominees. This legislation, if enacted, would bring more expert voices into the process of utility regulation.

“The PSC has huge power over everyday aspects of New Yorkers lives, making it critical that we establish a process to get the best possible commissioners,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “This bill ensures the most qualified and experienced experts would serve on the PSC.”

The legislation creates the Public Service Commission Nominating Board (PSCNB), comprised of utility experts, representatives of the public and different branches of government. The PSCNB would recommend four vetted, qualified nominees to the Governor for appointment and confirmation anytime a Commissioner’s term was expiring or when a vacancy otherwise occurs. To qualify, nominees would need experience in an area such as law, regulatory affairs, engineering, or consumer advocacy.

The PSC handles utility regulation pertaining to electric, water, natural gas, steam, and telecommunications. Currently, there is one vacancy on the PSC board.

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