- Report Published -
|State Corporation Commission Fees and Charges to Consumers and Groups Representing Consumer Interests When Participating in Proceedings Before Commission|
|State Corporation Commission|
|HJR 246 (Regular Session, 1994)|
|House Joint Resolution No. 246 (1994) directs the State Corporation Commission to study charges to individual consumers and groups representing consumer interests when participating in proceedings before the Commission. The Resolution directs the Commission to suggest ways to eliminate, subsidize, or otherwise reduce such costs and expenses to consumers, or groups representing consumers.|
The key issues are whether current Commission costs and charges to consumers are such a financial burden as to inhibit participation in Commission proceedings, and how best to reduce any identified burden.
The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure allow for two levels of participation by consumers in formal proceedings, as either an intervener or a protestant. As an intervener, a consumer or consumer group may participate in a limited manner by writing a letter or appearing at a hearing and making a statement as a public witness. Interveners, if they wish, may go further and file a brief in the case. With leave of the Commission, an intervener can also present oral argument.
As a protestant, a consumer or consumer group may act as a full party to the proceeding - presenting testimony, cross-examining witnesses, and presenting written and oral legal argument. Organizations must have legal counsel for such participation, and, although an individual may participate without counsel, legal representation is usually advisable.
Consumer interests are often represented by multiple parties in Commission proceedings. They may be represented by the Attorney General's Office, by individuals, or by groups. In large utility cases, there is generally extensive participation by consumer interests. In cases where these interests do not appear, Commission staff remains a representative of the public interest.