Florida Senate - 2019                              CS for SB 196
       By the Committee on Innovation, Industry, and Technology; and
       Senator Powell
       580-03250-19                                           2019196c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to Office of Public Counsel; amending
    3         s. 350.061, F.S.; providing term limits for the Public
    4         Counsel; requiring the Committee on Public Counsel
    5         Oversight to receive applications, conduct interviews,
    6         and appoint a Public Counsel by a specified date every
    7         4 years; providing for the filling of vacancies;
    8         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 must shall be an
   22  attorney admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court,
   23  and shall be appointed for a term of 4 years, and may be
   24  reappointed thereafter, provided that a person appointed as the
   25  Public Counsel may not serve more than 12 consecutive years in
   26  the position. The Public Counsel may be removed from office by a
   27  majority vote of the committee appointees of each house. A
   28  person may continue as Public Counsel beyond the 4-year limit
   29  until his or her successor is appointed and takes office, unless
   30  the person is removed as Public Counsel by a vote of the
   31  committee. The Committee on Public Counsel Oversight shall
   32  receive applications, conduct interviews, and appoint a Public
   33  Counsel to a 4-year term beginning on January 15, 2021, and
   34  every 4 years thereafter serve at the pleasure of the Committee
   35  on Public Counsel Oversight, subject to biennial reconfirmation
   36  by the committee. The Public Counsel shall perform his or her
   37  duties independently. Vacancies in the office shall be filled
   38  for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as
   39  the original appointment.
   40         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.