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Three lawmakers apply for PSC seat

Applications in for Sen. Tom Lee, Rep. Mike La Rosa and Rep. Holly Raschein.

A trio of lawmakers have applied for a seat on the state panel charged with regulating utilities.

Sen. Tom Lee, Rep. Mike La Rosa and Rep. Holly Raschein applied for the opening on the Florida Public Service Commission alongside four others. All three lawmakers are Republicans.

La Rosa and Raschein are not running for reelection to the House due to term limits.

In her application, Raschein cited her time as a lawmaker as giving her the ability “to understand the challenge of balancing competing interests: listening to both sides, carefully weighing the evidence, conducting my own analysis of an issue, and then making the right determination based on facts before me.”

LaRosa pointed to his experience related to energy issues in the House, including a 2015 bill (HB 7019) that placed term limits on PSC members.

Lee, of Thonotosassa, was reelected to the Senate in 2018 and had two years left on his term but announced earlier that he would resign his seat to spend more time with his family. His wife, Secretary of State Laurel Lee, and children live in Tallahassee where the PSC position is based.

On his application he wrote, “Over time, I have worked on a myriad of complex public policy matters which are relevant to the jurisdiction of the FPSC. I have experience in negotiating complex questions of public policy. I possess the capacity to assimilate Florida statutes and rules of procedure, I am familiar with the ethical obligations of public service and I have extensive experience problem solving in a collegial body.”

The seat is currently held by Commissioner Donald Polmann, whose first of a possible three four-year terms ends in January 2021. Polmann has also applied for reappointment to the commission.

The three other applicants were South Florida Water Management District hydrogeologist Jonathan Shaw accountant and retired FBI special agent Zachary Coates, Transportation Security Administration officer Erick Hamilton.

The applicants will be interviewed by the Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council, which will decide which candidates to forward to Gov. Ron DeSantis for possible appointment to the $132,036-a-year position.

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