Florida Senate - 2019                                     SB 196
       By Senator Powell
       30-01961-19                                            2019196__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Office of Public Counsel;
    3         amending s. 350.061, F.S.; providing term limits for
    4         the Public Counsel; requiring the Committee on Public
    5         Counsel Oversight to receive applications, conduct
    6         interviews, and appoint a Public Counsel by a
    7         specified date every 4 years; providing for the
    8         filling of vacancies; providing an effective date.
   10  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   12         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 350.061, Florida
   13  Statutes, is amended to read:
   14         350.061 Public Counsel; appointment; oath; restrictions on
   15  Public Counsel and his or her employees.—
   16         (1) The committee designated by joint rule of the
   17  Legislature or by agreement between the President of the Senate
   18  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as the Committee
   19  on Public Counsel Oversight shall appoint a Public Counsel to
   20  represent the general public of Florida before the Florida
   21  Public Service Commission. The Public Counsel shall be an
   22  attorney admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court
   23  and shall be appointed by serve at the pleasure of the Committee
   24  on Public Counsel Oversight for a term not to exceed 4 years,
   25  except that the Public Counsel shall continue in office beyond
   26  the 4-year limit until his or her successor is appointed and
   27  takes office. A person may not be appointed Public Counsel if by
   28  the end of his or her term he or she would have served more than
   29  12 consecutive years. The Committee on Public Counsel Oversight
   30  shall receive applications, conduct interviews, and appoint a
   31  Public Counsel to a 4-year term beginning on January 15, 2021,
   32  and every 4 years thereafter, subject to biennial reconfirmation
   33  by the committee. The Public Counsel shall perform his or her
   34  duties independently. Vacancies in the office shall be filled
   35  for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as
   36  the original appointment.
   37         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.