The chairman of a House committee that has proposed restructuring the Public Service Commission insisted Friday that agency needs to be revamped because of "volatility" in the regulatory environment.
HB 7209 (formerly PCB EUP4) by the House Energy & Utilities Policy Committee would create a separate Office of Regulatory Staff under the Financial Services Commission. The Office of Public Counsel also would be transferred to the Attorney General's Office.
The bill was amended and passed Friday without debate by the Full Appropriations Council on Education and Economic Development.
During a PSC meeting earlier this week, Commission Chairman Nancy Argenziano criticized the proposal to remove regulatory staff from the agency said legislators should explain why they want to do it. She also said she found it "incredibly curious" that she received no response to her March 22 letter about the bill to Rep. Stephen Precourt, R-Orlando and Energy & Utilities Policy Committee chairman.
Precourt said Friday that the tenor of her letter did not call for a response. "It seemed to be a rhetorical letter to me," he said.
He said the agency should be restructured because "we've got a regulatory environment that has a whole lot of volatility in it.
"One proxy of that volatility is the media coverage that has resulted in, such as, the downgraded bond ratings for (utilities and) Gov. (Charlie) Crist's call for a special session in the summer," Precourt said. "Those are indicators something needs to be done and addressed. This is our little piece of it."