Florida Senate - 2017 CS for CS for SB 1146 By the Committees on Appropriations; and Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities; and Senators Broxson and Mayfield 576-03767-17 20171146c2 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 appropriation and authorizing positions; 11 providing an effective date. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 Section 1. Section 350.0611, Florida Statutes, is amended 16 to read: 17 350.0611 Public Counsel; duties and powers.—It shall be the 18 duty of the Public Counsel to provide legal representation for 19 the people of the state in proceedings before the commission, 20
andin proceedings before counties pursuant to s. 367.171(8), 21 and in proceedings of municipal and other local government water 22 and wastewater utilities. The Public Counsel shall have such 23 powers as are necessary to carry out the duties of his or her 24 office, including, but not limited to, the following specific 25 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; and 38 (b) To represent ratepayers living outside the 39 jurisdictional boundary of a local government that provides a 40 water and wastewater utility service to those ratepayers in a 41 proceeding in which rates for the local government water and 42 wastewater utility services are determined; 43 (2) To have access to and use of all files, records, and 44 data of the commission or the counties available to any other 45 attorney representing parties in a proceeding before the 46 commission or the counties; 47 (3) In any proceeding in which he or she has participated 48 as a party, to seek review of any determination, finding, or 49 order of the commission or the counties, or of any hearing 50 examiner designated by the commission or the counties, in the 51 name of the state or its citizens; 52 (4) To prepare and issue reports, recommendations, and 53 proposed orders to the commission, the Governor, and the 54 Legislature on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction of 55 the commission, and to make such recommendations as he or she 56 deems appropriate for legislation relative to commission 57 procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel, and functions; and 58 (5) To appear before other state agencies, federal 59 agencies, and state and federal courts in connection with 60 matters under the jurisdiction of the commission, in the name of 61 the state or its citizens. 62 Section 2. Effective July 1, 2017, the sum of $1,229,130 in 63 recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is appropriated to 64 the Office of Public Counsel, and nine full-time equivalent 65 positions are authorized, for the purpose of implementing this 66 act. 67 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.