On March 30, 2016, Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 804, otherwise known as the Public Service Commission (PSC) Reform Bill, into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 299. Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin) and Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton) introduced Assembly Bill 804 and Senate Bill 654. The PSC developed the legislation through many discussions with PSC staff and stakeholders.
Act 299 is a comprehensive reform package that does the following:
- Eliminates an antiquated statute surrounding Commission authority to investigate railroad telecommunications systems.
- Removes obsolete jurisdiction over complaints about LATA boundaries.
- Allows the PSC the authority to more appropriately bill staff time to the utilities causing the expenditure to ensure fairness.
- Repeals the annual SO2 Compliance Report which no longer has a useful purpose because of other enforceable state and federal conditions and regulations.
- Allows the PSC Chairperson to extend, for good reason, an affiliated interest agreement consistent with other application timelines and extensions.
- Eliminates a Focus on Energy “double-tax” by clarifying that the investor-owned utilities’ portion of the program is based on retail revenue contributions.
- Streamlines the process to rebuild transmission lines within existing rights of way.
- Allows flexibility to give the DNR time to consider permits related to high-voltage transmission lines.