Senate reconsider, passes bill allowing governor to name circuit court judges or supreme court justices to PUC if commissioner has a conflict

PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) — The second time was the charm.
Tuesday, the Senate reconsidered and passed a bill allowing the governor to choose circuit court judges or state supreme court justices to serve on the Public Utilities Commission.
It would be only in the event of a vacancy.
SB177 passed 20 to 13. Monday, it failed 17 to 15 because it did not get a majority of votes of the 35-member upper chamber.
Republican President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown sponsored the bill and called for its reconsideration.
He said he could only recall five times when the governor needed to name a temporary replacement on the commission. Schoenbeck said it is not a common occurrence.
The bill expands the pool of potential replacements if a PUC commissioner cannot serve or has a conflict.
Currently, the governor can pick from state constitutional officers to temporarily fill the seat.
State Treasurer Josh Hader served instead of Commissioner Kristie Fiegen on last year’s consideration of the Summit Carbon Solutions and Navigator pipeline applications. Fiegen had a conflict of interest.
The bill now heads to a House committee.
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