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      CONST 4 21     


§21.  Public Service Commission

Section 21.(A)(1)  Composition; Term; Domicile.  There shall be a Public Service Commission in the executive branch.  It shall consist of five members, who shall be elected for overlapping terms of six years at the time fixed for congressional elections from single member districts established by law.  The commission annually shall elect one member as chairman.  It shall be domiciled at the state capital, but may meet, conduct investigations, and render orders elsewhere in this state.

(2)  No person who has served as a member of the commission for more than two and one-half terms in three consecutive terms shall be elected to the commission for the succeeding term.  This Subparagraph shall not apply to any person elected to the commission prior to the effective date of this Subparagraph, except that it shall apply to any term of service of any such person that begins after such date.

(B)  Powers and Duties.  The commission shall regulate all common carriers and public utilities and have such other regulatory authority as provided by law.  It shall adopt and enforce reasonable rules, regulations, and procedures necessary for the discharge of its duties, and shall have other powers and perform other duties as provided by law.

(C)  Limitation.  The commission shall have no power to regulate any common carrier or public utility owned, operated, or regulated on the effective date of this constitution by the governing authority of one or more political subdivisions, except by the approval of a majority of the electors voting in an election held for that purpose; however, a political subdivision may reinvest itself with such regulatory power in the manner in which it was surrendered.  This Paragraph shall not apply to safety regulations pertaining to the operation of such utilities.

(D)  Applications, Petitions, and Schedules; Protective Bond and Security.

(1)  Within twenty days after a common carrier or public utility files a proposed rate schedule which would result in a change in rates, it shall give notice thereof by publication in the official state journal and in the official journal of each parish within the geographical area in which the schedule would become applicable.

(2)  Within twelve months after the effective filing date, the commission shall render a full decision on each application, petition, and proposed rate schedule.

(3)  After the effective filing date of any proposed schedule by a public utility which would result in a rate increase, the commission may permit the proposed schedule to be put into effect, in whole or in part, pending its decision on the application for rate increase and subject to protective bond or security approved by the commission.  If no decision is rendered on the application within twelve months after such filing date, the proposed increase may be put into effect, but only if and as provided by law and subject to protective bond or security requirements, until final action by a court of last resort.

(4)  If a proposed increase which has been put into effect is finally disallowed, in whole or in part, the utility shall make full refund, with legal interest thereon, within the time and in the manner prescribed by law.

(E)  Appeals.  Appeal may be taken in the manner provided by law by any aggrieved party or intervenor to the district court of the domicile of the commission.  A right of direct appeal from any judgment of the district court shall be allowed to the supreme court.  These rights of appeal shall extend to any action by the commission, including but not limited to action taken by the commission or by a public utility under the provisions of Subparagraph (3) of Paragraph (D) of this Section.

(F)  Salary limitation.  Any increase in salary provided by law for the commission shall not become effective for a member of the commission until the commencement of the term of office for the member of the commission following the enactment of the increase.

Acts 2008, No. 935, §1, approved Nov. 4, 2008, eff. Dec. 8, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 539, §1, approved Nov. 2, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010.

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