TRA Mum on Proposed Overhaul

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority – which oversees private utility rates – has nothing to say about a proposal to do away with its four full-time directors. The TRA is one of 22 boards and commissions Governor Bill Haslam wants to overhaul.

While there is a rotating chairmanship, Haslam says no single TRA director is accountable for what the board does. He wants to appoint an executive director and reduce the board positions to part-time. He says that should also attract telecommunications experts who haven’t had the time to serve on the TRA.

“We’ve had people in the past who’ve had some expertise, but this will give you a chance to reach somebody who we couldn’t have reached before.”

Haslam says the restructuring would save what he calls a “meaningful” amount of money. Currently, TRA directors make $150,000 a year. They include a former judge, a broadcaster and a policy adviser to Governor Phil Bredesen.

Governor Haslam also wants to appoint executive directors to oversee four other boards. And he’s proposing to merge six environmental commissions into three.

WEB EXTRA

From the Haslam Administration…

Affected boards:
1. Duck River Development Agency Board
2. Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission
3. Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) Board of Control
4. Massage Licensure Board
5. Private Probation Services Board
6. Commission on Aging and Disability
7. Commission on Children and Youth
8. Community Services Agency Board
9. Board of Accountancy
10. Arts Commission
11. Higher Education Commission
12. Council on Career and Technical Education
13. Conservation Trust Fund Board
14. Conservation Commission
15. Oil and Gas Board
16. Water Quality Control Board
17. Solid Waste Board
18. Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Board
19. Water Resources Technical Advisory Committee
20. Commission on Firefighting Personnel Standards and Training
21. Tennessee Regulatory Authority
22. Board of Probation and Parole

The legislation package:

- Merges six boards into three. Administration says this is meant to increase efficiency.
o The Conservation Trust Fund Board will absorb the Conservation Commission.
o The Oil and Gas Board and Water Quality Control Board are combined to form the Board of Water Quality, Oil and Gas.
o The Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Board and Solid Waste Board are combined to form the Underground Storage Tanks and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board.

- Gives a Cabinet level commissioner oversight over six boards. Administration says this is meant to increase accountability.
o Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission – Commerce and Insurance
o Tennessee Corrections Institute – Commerce and Insurance
o Board of Accountancy – Commerce and Insurance
o Council on Career and Technical Education – Education
o Conservation Trust Fund Board – Environment and Conservation
o Commission on Firefighting Personnel Standards and Training – Commerce and Insurance

- Gives the governor hiring authority for four executive directors, also aimed at accountability.
o Commission on Aging and Disability
o Commission on Children and Youth
o Arts Commission
o Tennessee Higher Education Commission

- Specifics on the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
o Creates new executive director appointed by the governor.
o Changes number of director positions from four to five.
o Changes the board to a part-time board.

- As previously announced, restructures the Board of Probation and Parole.
o Moves oversight of parolees from the board to the Department of Correction.


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