Establishing the Governor's Citizens Utility and Telecommunication Advisory Committee

We are in an era of rapid change in utility regulation. The citizens of Washington are concerned about numerous utility issues: the restructuring of the telecommunications industry, escalating electrical rates and problems, the deregulation of natural gas, the financing of conservation programs, and others. Everyone, from large industrial customers to individual ratepayers, are concerned about the effect of these issues on the cost of basic utility services and on the ability to provide these necessary services in future years.

Changes in the cost of these services and in their delivery have a significant impact on all segments of our society. Yet, often, the rate hearings and proceedings are couched in technical economic, accounting, and legal terms, limiting effective .consumer understanding and participation.

In order to provide a broader avenue for consumer comment and to facilitate consumer awareness and understanding of the operation of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and its proceedings under state law, it is desirable that a citizens' utility and telecommunications advisory committee be established.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, John Spellman, Governor of the state of Washington, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby order and direct the following:

A. A citizens' advisory committee shall be established to be known as the Governor's Citizens Utility and Telecommunication Advisory Committee;

B. The Committee shall be comprised of three people from each Congressional District, appointed to represent a broad range of consumers and interests;

C. The Committee shall examine the causes and conditions surrounding major changes occurring within telecommunications and other utility areas and advise the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission of possible changes in the manner of regulating such activities and the design of rates and tariffs to assess a fair and equitable distribution of the costs resulting from these changes;

D. The Committee shall form three subcommittees, telecommunications, electric utilities, and water and gas utilities, with an appointee from each Congressional District on each subcommittee;

E. The Governor shall appoint the chairman of the Committee who shall serve as an ex-officio member;

F. The Committee shall meet at least monthly and will receive necessary support and assistance from the staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission;

G. The Committee shall, from time to time, report their findings and recommendations to the Governor, to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, to the legislature, and to the public;

H. The members of the Committee shall be reimbursed their expenses in the same manner as state officers and employees.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
29th day of July A.D., Nineteen hundred and eighty-three.

John Spellman
Governor of Washington


Secretary of State