SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) on Tuesday expanded his legislation to reform the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to ensure court review of CPUC decisions and to create an Inspector General and Public Advisor. “The activities of the CPUC have been hidden under a shroud of secrecy that needs to be lifted,” Rendon said. “The proposed reforms serve as a step toward restoring the CPUC’s accountability to the public.”
The amendments to Assembly Bill (AB) 825 include several provisions. Most significantly, the bill fundamentally alters the way courts review CPUC decisions by providing challengers the ability to seek a record review by the Superior Court. No such appeal mechanism currently exists.
“Everyone deserves the right to their day in court,” Rendon said. “No government entity, including the CPUC, should be able to make unilateral rulings without being subject to a fair and transparent appeal process.”
AB 825 also creates the positions of Inspector General and Public Advisor.
The State Auditor will appoint the Inspector General to have independent authority to investigate the CPUC. Similar oversight mechanisms already exist with other regulatory agencies such as the California Energy Commission and State Water Resources Control Board.
The bill makes the Public Advisor responsible for enacting transparency measures within the CPUC, including updating the commission website with summary information on energy procurement and utility rate increase applications.
These proposals come in light of considerable public scrutiny into the CPUC after recent revelations of secret meetings and close ties between commissioners and regulated entities.
Rendon has also introduced AB 1176, which requires CPUC commissioners, staff, and chief administrative law judge to maintain a public log of all communications with outside parties in adjudicatory and rate-setting proceedings.
Assemblyman Anthony Rendon is chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce. Rendon is serving in his second term representing the 63rd Assembly District, which includes the cities and communities of Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, North Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, and South Gate. Rendon serves on the following committees: Water, Parks and Wildlife; Natural Resources; Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security; and Appropriations.