Sedona AZ (January 13, 2018) – The Arizona Corporation Commission is the 4th body of Arizona government after the Governor, Legislature and Judiciary and yet may be the least well known. It consists of 5 members elected by the public and many of the commission’s decisions directly affect the pocketbooks of individuals and businesses of Arizona.
The January Voter Education Program of the League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley will be “The Arizona Corporation Commission, What Voters Need to Know” presented by Kiana Sears, M.P.A. The program will take place on Monday, January 22, 12:30-2PM at Yavapai College,4215 Arts Village Dr., in Sedona. The program is a partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and is free and open to the public.
The Arizona Corporation Commission is the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Arizona, established by Article 15 of the Arizona Constitution. Some of its major duties include regulating public utility companies (including rates), regulating the incorporation of businesses and organizations, securities regulation, and railroad/pipeline safety. The Arizona constitution explicitly calls for an elected commission, as opposed to a governor-appointed commission, which is the standard in most states, because its drafters feared that governors would appoint industry-friendly officials. The Commission is elected by and represents the taxpayers.
According to Barbara Litrell, President of the local League, “Voters need to know what the Commission does, how well they are representing taxpayers and the controversies that have surrounded the Commission. At our meeting Kiana Sears will explain the history of the ACC, the divisions in the ACC, and how it can and does affect the lives of Arizonans and small business owners.”
Kiana Sears is a community advocate and an Arizona seasoned public policy professional with a Masters Degree in Public Administration. She serves on the Mesa School Governing Board and part of her professional history includes serving as Executive Regulatory Consultant to the Arizona Corporation Commission from January 2008-August 2014. As an Executive Consultant she did research and made recommendations to the Utilities Division Chiefs, Division Directors, and ultimately the Commission, on complex technical and policy issues. The exposure to a broad range of utility, regulatory and policy issues afforded her the opportunity to perform the most complex and sensitive technical analyses and research on utility companies. Recommendations are critical to the Commission in order to fulfill its Constitutional authority/mandate to assure that rate payers are adequately protected and that the utilities are granted rates that are just, fair and reasonable in order to provide safe and reliable utilities services. Having left her work at the Commission in 2014, Sears recently declared herself a candidate for the Commission in the 2018 November election.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to public service in the field of government. It is a national organization — open to both men and women — whose purpose is to encourage political responsibility through informed and active participation in government. The League influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League never supports or opposes political parties or candidates for elective offices. For more information about League of Women Voters programs, contact Barbara Litrell 649-0135or email@example.com.