About the PSC
The Public Service Commission is the most valuable and the most powerful government body that no one knows anything about. It is a regulatory agency which means that it makes rules for companies and people to follow in specific areas such as described below. Sometimes it deals with controversial matters, like the Keystone XL pipeline or the 911 emergency call system. In many ways it affects the texture of everyday life of the citizens of Nebraska.
Brief History of the Commission
The Nebraska Public Service Commission (Commission) is a constitutionally created executive body established under Article IV, Section 20 of the Nebraska Constitution. The Commission is comprised of five elected Commissioners serving six-year terms. The Commission was initially created by the Legislature in 1885 to regulate railroads, but was not firmly established until the passage of a constitutional amendment in 1906 creating a three member elected Railway Commission. Membership was increased to five Commissioners in 1964 and the state was divided into five districts, each to elect a commissioner. The name was changed to the Public Service Commission by a general election vote in 1972.
Today the Commission regulates telecommunications carriers, natural gas jurisdictional utilities, major oil pipelines, railroad safety, household goods movers and passenger carriers, grain warehouses and dealers, construction of manufactured and modular homes and recreational vehicles, high voltage electric transmission lines, and private water company rates. The Commission also oversees and administers several statutorily created funds with specific legislative purposes and goals including the Nebraska Universal Service Fund, the Enhanced Wireless 911 Fund, and the Nebraska Telecommunications Relay System Fund.
The Commission is active on local, state, and national levels and contributes on all levels to determine policy regarding the future of communications and universal service. Many Commissioners, past and present, have served on boards, committees, and advisory groups to recommend and give insight on policy matters to both state and federal agencies and legislative bodies.