(A) There is hereby created a public utilities commission nominating council consisting of the following:
(1) The chairperson of the consumers' counsel governing board;
(2) The president of the accountancy board;
(3) The chairperson of the state board of registration for professional engineers and surveyors;
(4) The president of the Ohio state bar association;
(5) The president of the Ohio municipal league;
(6) The director of development or the director's department-employed designee;
(7) A member of the public appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, to serve at the pleasure of the speaker;
(8) A member of the public appointed by the president of the senate, to serve at the pleasure of the president;
(9) A representative of the regulated public utilities of the state appointed by the governor, to serve at the pleasure of the governor;
(10) A representative of the business community appointed by the governor, to serve at the pleasure of the governor;
(11) A representative of organized labor appointed by the governor, to serve at the pleasure of the governor;
(12) A senior citizen sixty-five years of age or older appointed by the director of aging, to serve at the pleasure of the director.
(B) At its first meeting each calendar year, the council shall select from among its members a chairperson and secretary. The council may adopt bylaws governing its proceedings.
(C) The council shall keep a record of its proceedings. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson, and shall be called by the chairperson upon receipt of a written request for a meeting signed by two or more members of the council. Written notice of the time and place of each meeting shall be sent to each member of the council. With the approval of the association's or league's governing body, the president of the Ohio state bar association or the president of the Ohio municipal league, respectively, may designate an alternate to represent the president at meetings of the council. With the approval of the board, the president of the accountancy board or the chairperson of the state board of registration for professional engineers and surveyors may designate such an alternate. Six members, or their alternates, constitute a quorum.
(D) The council shall:
(1) Review and evaluate possible appointees for the office of commissioner of the public utilities commission;
(2) Consistent with division (D) of section 4901.02 of the Revised Code, not more than eighty-five nor less than sixty days prior to the expiration of the term of a public utilities commissioner or not more than thirty days after the death of, resignation of, or termination of service by, a public utilities commissioner, provide the governor with a list of four individuals who are, in the judgment of the council, the most fully qualified to accede to the office of commissioner. The council shall not include the name of an individual upon the list, if the appointment of that individual by the governor would result in more than three members of the commission belonging to or being affiliated with the same political party. The council shall include on the list only the names of attorneys admitted to the practice of law in any state or the District of Columbia if an attorney must be appointed to fulfill the requirement of division (D) of section 4901.02 of the Revised Code. To the extent possible, in its performance of this duty, the council shall continually attempt to ensure that the primary focus of the background of two commissioners is in energy and that the primary focus of the background of two commissioners is in transportation or communications technology.
(E) In reviewing and evaluating possible appointees for the office of public utilities commissioner, the council may accept comments from, cooperate with, and request information from any person. The council may make recommendations to the general assembly concerning changes in legislation to assist the council in the performance of its duties.
(F) Within thirty days of receipt of the council's recommendations, the governor shall fill a vacancy occurring in the office of commissioner by appointment of one of the persons recommended by the council. Nothing in this section shall prevent the governor in the governor's discretion from rejecting all of the nominees of the council and reconvening the council in order to select four additional nominees. However, when the governor has reconvened the council and the council has provided the governor with a second list of four names, the governor shall make the appointment from one of the names on the first list or the second list. Each appointment by the governor shall be subject to the advice and consent of the senate.
(G) Members of the council shall be compensated on a per diem basis pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 124.14 of the Revised Code plus reasonable travel expenses. All the expenses of the nominating council shall be paid from moneys appropriated to the public utilities commission for that purpose.
Effective Date: 09-29-1995
Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4