The Cal. Senate’s Constitutional Amendments Committee advanced a bill (SCA-6) for a constitutional amendment that would make the Cal. PUC an elected body rather than appointed.
The panel passed the amendment unanimously and referred it to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The proposed constitutional amendment would make the PUC a 7- member elected body with each member elected to represent a specific geographic district to be established by the legislature.
Supporters argue that an elected PUC would be more responsive to ratepayer needs. Support has come from the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights. But the measure is opposed by the PUC, the state’s major telecom, energy and water utilities and the Cal. Chamber of Commerce.
If the legislature approved such a constitutional amendment, it would be put to voter referendum in a special election March 2, 2004. If passed by the voters, the first PUC election would be in Nov. 2006, with the new elected body starting business in Jan. 2007.