§269-2 Public utilities commission; number, appointment of commissioners, qualifications; compensation; persons having interest in public utilities; authority. (a) There shall be a public utilities commission of three members, to be called commissioners, and who shall be appointed in the manner prescribed in section 26-34, except as otherwise provided in this section. All members shall be appointed for terms of six years each, except that the terms of the members first appointed shall be for two, four, and six years, respectively, as designated by the governor at the time of appointment. The governor shall designate a member to be chairperson of the commission. Each member shall hold office until the member's successor is appointed and qualified. Section 26-34 shall not apply insofar as it relates to the number of terms and consecutive number of years a member can serve on the commission; provided that no member shall serve more than twelve consecutive years.
In appointing commissioners, the governor shall select persons who have had experience in accounting, business, engineering, government, finance, law, or other similar fields. The commissioners shall devote full time to their duties as members of the commission and no commissioner shall hold any other public office or other employment during the commissioner's term of office. No person owning any stock or bonds of any public utility corporation, or having any interest in, or deriving any remuneration from, any public utility shall be appointed a commissioner.
(b) Effective July 1, 2005, the chairperson of the commission shall be paid a salary set at eighty-seven per cent of the salary of the director of human resources development, and each of the other commissioners shall be paid a salary equal to ninety-five per cent of the chairperson's salary. The commissioners shall be exempt from chapters 76 and 89 but shall be members of the state [employees'] retirement system and shall be eligible to receive the benefits of any state or federal employee benefit program generally applicable to officers and employees of the State, including those under chapter 87A.
(c) The commission is placed, for administrative purposes only, within the department of commerce and consumer affairs. The department of commerce and consumer affairs shall not direct or exert authority over the day-to-day operations or functions of the commission, except as provided in subsection (g) and section 269-3.
(d) Notwithstanding section 26-35(a)(1) to the contrary, the commission may communicate directly with the governor or the legislature as determined by the chairperson; provided that the department of commerce and consumer affairs may represent the commission in communications with the governor or the legislature upon request by the chairperson of the commission and agreement by the department of commerce and consumer affairs.
(e) Notwithstanding section 26-35(a)(5) to the contrary, the commission's operational expenditures, such as the purchase of supplies, equipment, furniture, dues and subscriptions, travel, consultant services, and staff training, shall be determined by the chairperson and may be delegated to the executive officer appointed and employed pursuant to section 269-3; provided that such expenditures shall be subject to all applicable procurement laws and procedures.
(f) Notwithstanding section 26-35(a)(6) to the contrary, the utilization, allocation, renovation, or other use of space or spaces to be occupied by the commission shall be determined by the chairperson and may be delegated to the executive officer appointed and employed pursuant to section 269-3.
(g) Determinations made under subsection (d), (e), or (f) by the chairperson or the executive officer as delegated by the chairperson, may be reviewed by the director of commerce and consumer affairs for completeness and for compliance and conformance with applicable administrative processes and procedures of the department of commerce and consumer affairs. [L 1913, c 89, §1; am L 1915, c 170, §1; am L 1917, c 165, §1; am L 1919, c 88, §1; am L 1921, c 127, §1; RL 1925, §2189; am L 1933, c 141, §1; RL 1935, §7941; RL 1945, §4702; am L 1951, c 213, §1; RL 1955, §104-2; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §5; am imp L 1967, c 80, §1; HRS §269-2; am L 1972, c 118, §1; am L 1976, c 165, §1; am L 1982, c 129, §8; gen ch 1985; am L 1986, c 128, §7; am L 1989, c 329, §5; am L 1990, c 140, §5; am L 2002, c 148, §24; am L 2005, c 22, §10 and c 226, §7; am L 2014, c 108, §4]
Administration, see §26-8.
Commissions, generally, see §26-34.
Attorney General Opinions
The word "qualified" in this section does not purport to prevent the governor from exercising the interim appointments authority in article V, §6 of the state constitution; thus, there is no conflict between this section and article V, §6. Therefore, this section is constitutional. Att. Gen. Op. 16-3.
Cited: 32 H. 127, 129 (1931).