Nixon names former lawmaker to Mo. utility board

By CHRIS BLANK

Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday placed a former Democratic lawmaker on a state commission that regulates utilities after the nomination stalled earlier this year in the Senate.

Nixon appointed Steve Stoll to the Public Service Commission, and with the Legislature adjourned, the interim selection allows Stoll to begin serving. Senators will need to confirm Stoll when they return to the Capitol.

Stoll was tapped to the Public Service Commission in December, but Nixon withdrew his and several other selections amid Senate concerns and a confirmation deadline that could have made the appointees ineligible ever to serve in that position in state government. Senators said they supported Stoll’s appointment but wanted Nixon to pick an additional person for a second opening on the commission.

The five-member Public Service Commission decides on utility rates and regulates the electric, gas, water, mobile home and other related industries. Stoll replaces former Democratic lawmaker Robert Clayton, who was named to a state appeals court. Another spot opened on the Public Service Commission with the resignation last year of Jeff Davis, who previously was an aide to Republican lawmakers.

Stoll, of Festus, served in the Missouri Senate from 1999 to 2005 and in the state House from 1993 to 1999. He was the city administrator in Festus from 2005 to 2009 and the director of administration for Jefferson County from 2009 to 2011.

Nixon said Friday that Stoll would be a key member of the Public Service Commission.

“Steve has focused his career on helping move his community and state forward, and I know he will be a fair, responsible and effective utility regulator for Missouri,” Nixon said. “He will help ensure that Missouri families, businesses and communities have access to affordable, abundant and reliable utilities.”

Nixon also renewed the appointment of Kerry Messer to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. Messer is the president of the Missouri Family Network and serves on the executive board of the Missouri Baptist Convention. He was appointed to the board in 2007, and his new term lasts until April 2013.

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