For Immediate Release | 03-02-20
Media Contact | Steven Olea
Direct | 602-542-3707
E-Mail | SMOlea@azcc.gov
Phoenix — The Arizona Corporation Commission (“ACC”) is severely understaffed and is in serious need of assistance from the Legislature and Governor’s office to increase the ACC’s assessments (within currently approved statutory levels) to support manpower increases needed to match the ACC’s significantly increasing workload. Two of the ACC’s Divisions are the first stops in the startup and or expansions of new and existing business operations in Arizona.
The ACC’s Corporations Division is the first link in the economic development chain for businesses wishing to incorporate, either as a new start up business or changing their current business registration to a Corporation.
The ACC’s Utilities Division is where monopoly utility service companies establish their service territories by acquiring a certificate of convenience and necessity (“CC&N”) that is required to serve all commercial, industrial and residential developments in Arizona. Review and approval of these numerous CC&Ns is complex and time-consuming.
Funding for these two Divisions comes from fees on business filings and assessments on the regulated utilities, not from the State’s general funds. However, the ACC cannot increase these assessments without the Legislature’s and Governor’s approval. Without this legislative authorization, the ACC will not have the funds needed to support the staffing levels necessary for ACC to continue to provide its critical support of Arizona’s growing economy, while at the same time protecting Arizona’s ratepayers and taxpayers.
The ACC’s primary responsibilities are to ensure safe, reliable and affordable utility services, serve Arizona’s entrepreneurs in their entry and participation in Arizona’s economy and its continued growth and protect Arizonans from unscrupulous securities practices.
With the ACC being a critical link in the supply chain required to support existing and new businesses, the smooth and efficient operation of the ACC is vitally important.
The Utilities Division is also responsible for processing rate cases for monopoly utility service companies. Currently, every major monopoly utility in Arizona has either filed or will shortly be filing a rate case. These filings require a full financial audit to determine the cost of doing business in order to establish the proper rate for cost recovery from the rate payers. These are complex, time consuming cases that require highly qualified financial, engineering and legal experts to protect the ratepayer.
In addition, new companies to Arizona, like Nikola Motor Co. and others, will need significant levels of power, water and wastewater utility service, requiring interconnections to the grid, possibly additional substations and transmission lines, and water line extensions permitted and approved by the ACC (another function of the Utilities Division). ACC manpower shortages could create unnecessary and very costly delays in processing times.
Bob Burns, current Chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission, has served the State of Arizona for over 30 years, spending 20 years in the state legislature and two years on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors before becoming a Corporation Commissioner. He's spent his time in public life protecting Arizona taxpayers and ensuring that the state stays on the forefront of emerging technologies and energy efficiency. Chairman Burns is currently the longest serving member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, beginning his tenure in January of 2013.
The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state’s constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona’s co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit