Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1146 By Senator Broxson 1-00915-17 20171146__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to representation by the Public 3 Counsel; amending s. 350.0611, F.S.; authorizing the 4 Public Counsel to provide representation in 5 proceedings of municipal and other government 6 utilities; authorizing the Public Counsel to represent 7 residential ratepayers in rate proceedings before the 8 Public Service Commission determining rate structure; 9 authorizing the Public Counsel to represent customers 10 living outside the jurisdictional boundaries of a 11 local government utility in ratesetting proceedings; 12 providing an effective date. 13 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 Section 1. Section 350.0611, Florida Statutes, is amended 17 to read: 18 350.0611 Public Counsel; duties and powers.—It shall be the 19 duty of the Public Counsel to provide legal representation for 20 the people of the state in proceedings before the commission, 21
andin proceedings before counties pursuant to s. 367.171(8), 22 and in proceedings of municipal and other local government 23 utilities. The Public Counsel shall have such powers as are 24 necessary to carry out the duties of his or her office, 25 including, but not limited to, the following specific powers: 26 (1)(a) To recommend to the commission or the counties, by 27 petition, the commencement of any proceeding or action or to 28 appear, in the name of the state or its citizens, in any 29 proceeding or action before the commission or the counties and 30 urge therein any position which he or she deems to be in the 31 public interest, whether consistent or inconsistent with 32 positions previously adopted by the commission or the counties, 33 and utilize therein all forms of discovery available to 34 attorneys in civil actions generally, subject to protective 35 orders of the commission or the counties which shall be 36 reviewable by summary procedure in the circuit courts of this 37 state; 38 (b) To represent residential ratepayers in a rate 39 proceeding in which the commission determines the rate 40 structure; and 41 (c) To represent ratepayers living outside the 42 jurisdictional boundary of a local government that provides a 43 utility service to those ratepayers in a proceeding in which 44 rates for the local government utility services are determined; 45 (2) To have access to and use of all files, records, and 46 data of the commission or the counties available to any other 47 attorney representing parties in a proceeding before the 48 commission or the counties; 49 (3) In any proceeding in which he or she has participated 50 as a party, to seek review of any determination, finding, or 51 order of the commission or the counties, or of any hearing 52 examiner designated by the commission or the counties, in the 53 name of the state or its citizens; 54 (4) To prepare and issue reports, recommendations, and 55 proposed orders to the commission, the Governor, and the 56 Legislature on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction of 57 the commission, and to make such recommendations as he or she 58 deems appropriate for legislation relative to commission 59 procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel, and functions; and 60 (5) To appear before other state agencies, federal 61 agencies, and state and federal courts in connection with 62 matters under the jurisdiction of the commission, in the name of 63 the state or its citizens. 64 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.