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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 350
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F.S. 350.061
350.061 Public Counsel; appointment; oath; restrictions on Public Counsel and his or her employees.
(1) The committee designated by joint rule of the Legislature or by agreement between the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as the Committee on Public Counsel Oversight shall appoint a Public Counsel to represent the general public of Florida before the Florida Public Service Commission. The Public Counsel shall be an attorney admitted to practice before the Florida Supreme Court, shall be appointed for a term of 4 years, and may be reappointed thereafter, provided that a person appointed as the Public Counsel may not serve more than 12 consecutive years in the position. However, the time served by the Public Counsel before July 1, 2020, may not be considered in applying the limitation on consecutive years of service. The Public Counsel shall be appointed by a majority vote of the committee appointees of each house and may be removed from office by a majority vote of the committee appointees of each house. A person may continue as Public Counsel beyond the 4-year term until his or her successor is appointed and takes office, unless the person is removed by a vote of the committee. The Committee on Public Counsel Oversight shall receive applications, conduct interviews, and appoint a Public Counsel to a 4-year term beginning on March 1, 2021, and every 4 years thereafter. The Public Counsel shall perform his or her duties independently. Vacancies in the office shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
(2) The Public Counsel shall take and subscribe to the oath of office required of state officers by the State Constitution.
(3) No officer or full-time employee of the Public Counsel shall actively engage in any other business or profession; serve as the representative of any political party or on any executive committee or other governing body thereof; serve as an executive, officer, or employee of any political party, committee, organization, or association; receive remuneration for activities on behalf of any candidate for public office; or engage on behalf of any candidate for public office in the solicitation of votes or other activities in behalf of such candidacy. Neither the Public Counsel nor any employee of the Public Counsel shall become a candidate for election to public office unless he or she shall first resign from his or her office or employment.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-195; s. 2, ch. 81-318; s. 6, ch. 87-50; s. 535, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 2005-132; s. 35, ch. 2008-227; s. 29, ch. 2011-34; s. 1, ch. 2020-137.