Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Update on HB1501 - PUC Post-employment Restrictions

This morning the House Committee on Labor & Public Employment heard House Bill 1501 and passed it out with the following amendments:
  • Deleted Section 1 - which is the purpose clause
  • Deleted Section 2 - which is the part about post-employment restrictions
The following sections remain in the bill:
  • Section 3 - Affording consumers or patrons an opportunity to provide input on an application for a proposed merger or consolidation of a public utility and that the consumer advocated is a party in all dockets involved in the proposed merger or consolidation (Both provisions are meaningless as the PUC does not restrict written public comments in its proceedings and existing law (HRS 269-51) states that the Consumer Advocate has "full rights to participate as a party of interest in all proceedings before the PUC."
  • Section 4 - Directs the Auditor to do a study to compare PUC salaries with comparables in the private sector
  • Section 5 - The appropriation from the general fund to fund the study
The Ethics Commission testimony provides good background information on the State Ethics Code and post-employment restrictions for all State employees. 
As Citizen 987 pointed out in his/her comments on my earlier blog, Bad PUC Bills, the introducer of HB1501 also introduced HB1090 which prohibits post-employment restrictions for the technology sector.

The electricity sector, public utilities included, is an intrinsic part of the technology sector.

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