House Passes Bill To Study PSC Election, Expansion

The Kentucky House is ordering a study to determine if state Public Service Commission members should be elected, not appointed. But it was a close vote.

Last month, the Senate voted to expand the Public Service Commission from three to seven members, elected by the people, instead of appointed by the governor. However the House, on an extremely close vote, has decided to just study the issue. Among opponents was House Minority Leader Jeffrey Hoover.

“In all due respect, if it was a true study to look at the issue and to look at the effects and concerns raised by all those groups that expressed their opposition, they would be included in this study and this task force. They’re not,” he said.

The bill squeaked through the House on a 48-46 vote, with six members not voting. Since it was amended in the House, the bill now returns to the Senate.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.