Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed former GOP legislator John Tuma to a six-year term on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the five-member appointed body that regulates electricity, natural gas and telephone service.
Tuma is a former state House member who represented parts of Rice, LeSueur, Scott and Dakota counties from 1995-2002.
The governor’s office said that while in the Legislature, Tuma “helped lead efforts to pass key energy legislation, including Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard – which garnered broad, bipartisan support.”
Other accolades during his time in office: He was awarded Legislator of the Year by ARC of Minnesota, the state’s largest disability organization; PACER, an organization defending the rights of the disabled in education; the Minnesota League of Conservation Voters; and the Women’s Auxilary of the VFW.
He replaces David Boyd, a former chair of the commission whose term was up; Boyd, a Republican, had been appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
In making the new appointment, which takes effect Feb. 2, Dayton said:
John Tuma’s decades of experience and expertise in energy policy will make him an excellent member of the Public Utilities Commission. Over more than two decades of legal, legislative, and advocacy work, Mr. Tuma has had a tremendous impact on shaping Minnesota’s energy policies.
The mission of the PUC: to create and maintain a regulatory environment that ensures safe, reliable and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates. And on the commission’s website it says:
Any communications with individual commissioners on material issues in matters pending before the commission may constitute a prohibited ex parte communication [Minn. Stat. §216a.037]. If you wish to comment on the record on a pending matter, please do not contact individual commissioners but instead submit your comments to PublicComments.Puc@state.mn.us .