PSC Reform Bill Signed into Law

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.