(April 4) – Rep. Daneya Esgar’s bill to reform the Colorado Public Utilities Commission passed its first legislative test today.
Rep. Esgar’s bill, HB18-1281, slams the revolving door that allows PUC members to have recently served in a senior position with one of the utilities the PUC regulates, and it prohibits PUC members from having any financial interest in a regulated utility.
The bill also requires the PUC director to provide training for staffers and directs the three-member commission to adopt rules concerning conflicts of interest.
“We need to make sure that the three people in this state who are given power to make decisions that are going to impact communities across Colorado have some safeguards around them,” Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo, told the House Transportation & Energy Committee. “This bill just tries to protect the consumer and bring back the public trust in the important work that these three people do.”
A party-line 8-7 vote by the Transportation & Energy Committee sent HB18-1281 to the Finance Committee.
“We will have a new governor next year,” Rep. Esgar said. “Now is a good time to make some rules changes that will inform the next governor’s appointments to this commission.”