Archive for July 2009

Big Government and the PSC

July 3, 2009

Don’t think that it is only Washington DC that loves big government.  We’re in a recession, unemployment is rising, families and companies are cutting back on their budgets. We finally have a budget in Mississippi but it required budget cuts by nearly every part of government (education excepted). And at the last minute in budget negotiations and debate (after one of their House leaders wasted hours of time to make a point), the Democrats decided rather than a budget cut, they wanted a budget increase for the Public Service Commission. Rather than holding steady, they want to hire additional staff for the Public Service Commission. (They tried it during the regular session, too, and the Senate blocked it then, too.)

They are admitting the worst about big government which is to have more than one person do the same job.  They want to hire people to do work already being done by other Mississippi government employees. And the reason they want to do it is because the other employees (who work for the Public Utilities Staff) are not under control of the PSC.

Like typical big government bureaucrats, the PSC wants these people to do what they say to do, rather than be independent public servants.

But when the legislature first separated the PSC and the PUS because of PSC corruption (they were telling the PUS what to report), they made their good government intent very clear and did not want the PSC to attempt to do what they asked the legislature to do last week.

§ 77-1-29. Payments to and disbursements from Public Service Commission Regulation Fund
On or before the twentieth day of each calendar month, the commission shall pay into the State Treasury to the account of the “Public Service Commission Regulation Fund” all monies collected by it during the preceding calendar month, showing from whom collected, when collected and for what purposes collected. All disbursements made by the commission or from the regulation fund for any purposes, other than for salaries provided by law, shall be supported by a detailed and itemized statement approved by the commission for commission disbursements. The commission shall not expend funds from the “Public Service Commission Regulation Fund” to employ personnel whose services would duplicate services provided by any employee of the Public Utilities Staff.

It is against the law for the PSC to hire additional staff to do what the PUS is already doing.  Democrats who love big government need to follow the law and let the legislature pass a PSC budget that does not duplicate staff and waste money.

It is the fault of the big government advocates that PSC and PUS staff are being furloughed from their jobs.