Florida Senate - 2017                             CS for SB 1146
       By the Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public
       Utilities; and Senator Broxson
       579-02999-17                                          20171146c1
    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 water
    6         and wastewater utilities; authorizing the Public
    7         Counsel to represent customers living outside the
    8         jurisdictional boundaries of a local government water
    9         and wastewater utility in ratesetting proceedings;
   10         providing an effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Section 350.0611, Florida Statutes, is amended
   15  to read:
   16  350.0611 Public Counsel; duties and powers.—It shall be the duty
   17  of the Public Counsel to provide legal representation for the
   18  people of the state in proceedings before the commission, and in
   19  proceedings before counties pursuant to s. 367.171(8), and in
   20  proceedings of municipal and other local government water and
   21  wastewater utilities. The Public Counsel shall have such powers
   22  as are necessary to carry out the duties of his or her office,
   23  including, but not limited to, the following specific powers:
   24         (1)(a) To recommend to the commission or the counties, by
   25  petition, the commencement of any proceeding or action or to
   26  appear, in the name of the state or its citizens, in any
   27  proceeding or action before the commission or the counties and
   28  urge therein any position which he or she deems to be in the
   29  public interest, whether consistent or inconsistent with
   30  positions previously adopted by the commission or the counties,
   31  and utilize therein all forms of discovery available to
   32  attorneys in civil actions generally, subject to protective
   33  orders of the commission or the counties which shall be
   34  reviewable by summary procedure in the circuit courts of this
   35  state; and
   36         (b) To represent ratepayers living outside the
   37  jurisdictional boundary of a local government that provides a
   38  water and wastewater utility service to those ratepayers in a
   39  proceeding in which rates for the local government water and
   40  wastewater utility services are determined;
   41         (2) To have access to and use of all files, records, and
   42  data of the commission or the counties available to any other
   43  attorney representing parties in a proceeding before the
   44  commission or the counties;
   45         (3) In any proceeding in which he or she has participated
   46  as a party, to seek review of any determination, finding, or
   47  order of the commission or the counties, or of any hearing
   48  examiner designated by the commission or the counties, in the
   49  name of the state or its citizens;
   50         (4) To prepare and issue reports, recommendations, and
   51  proposed orders to the commission, the Governor, and the
   52  Legislature on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction of
   53  the commission, and to make such recommendations as he or she
   54  deems appropriate for legislation relative to commission
   55  procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel, and functions; and
   56         (5) To appear before other state agencies, federal
   57  agencies, and state and federal courts in connection with
   58  matters under the jurisdiction of the commission, in the name of
   59  the state or its citizens.
   60         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.