Florida Senate - 2020                   (PROPOSED BILL) SPB 7052
       FOR CONSIDERATION By the Committee on Innovation, Industry, and
       580-03067B-20                                         20207052pb
    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; providing for the appointment and
    5         removal of the Public Counsel; requiring the Committee
    6         on Public Counsel Oversight to receive applications,
    7         conduct interviews, and appoint a Public Counsel by a
    8         specified date every 4 years; providing for the
    9         filling of vacancies; providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 350.061, Florida
   14  Statutes, is amended to read:
   15         350.061 Public Counsel; appointment; oath; restrictions on
   16  Public Counsel and his or her employees.—
   17         (1) The committee designated by joint rule of the
   18  Legislature or by agreement between the President of the Senate
   19  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as the Committee
   20  on Public Counsel Oversight shall appoint a Public Counsel to
   21  represent the general public of Florida before the Florida
   22  Public Service Commission. The Public Counsel shall be an
   23  attorney admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court,
   24  and shall be appointed for a term of 4 years, and may be
   25  reappointed thereafter, provided that a person appointed as the
   26  Public Counsel may not serve more than 12 consecutive years in
   27  the position. The Public Counsel shall be appointed by a
   28  majority vote of the committee appointees of each house and may
   29  be removed from office by a majority vote of the committee
   30  appointees of each house. A person may continue as Public
   31  Counsel beyond the 4-year term until his or her successor is
   32  appointed and takes office, unless the person is removed by a
   33  vote of the committee. The Committee on Public Counsel Oversight
   34  shall receive applications, conduct interviews, and appoint a
   35  Public Counsel to a 4-year term beginning on March 1, 2021, and
   36  every 4 years thereafter serve at the pleasure of the Committee
   37  on Public Counsel Oversight, subject to biennial reconfirmation
   38  by the committee. The Public Counsel shall perform his or her
   39  duties independently. Vacancies in the office shall be filled
   40  for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as
   41  the original appointment.
   42         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.