Scope and Content
Related Collections at the California State Archives
Title: California State Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Records
Collection number: See series descriptions.
Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee
Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee
Assembly Finance, Insurance, and Commerce Committee
48.5 cubic feet
California State Archives
Abstract: The Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee was created on in 1981 to oversee legislation and issues involving investor-owned
public utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Pacific Telephone, municipal energy utilities such as the Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power, common carriers such as for-hire truckers, passenger stage corporations such as Greyhound
and Trailways and charter party carriers such as sight-seeing buses. The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee records
consist of approximately 48.5 cubic of textual and audiovisual records covering the years 1978-2005.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility
for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives
[Identification of item], Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Records, LP[number]:[folder number], California State
Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.
The California State Archives acquired the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee records according to state law.
The Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee was created on January 22, 1981, by House Resolution 13, with Assembly Member
Gordon Duffy (Rep.) as chair. At its inception, the 12 members of the Utilities and Energy Committee were given jurisdiction
over "legislation and issues involving investor-owned public utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Pacific
Telephone, municipal energy utilities such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, common carriers such as for-hire
truckers, passenger stage corporations such as Greyhound and Trailways and charter party carriers such as sight-seeing buses."The
committee also [had] jurisdiction over legislation and issues pertaining to cable television, the San Francisco Bar Pilots
and the Inland Pilots who pilot vessels within San Francisco Bay and up to the Ports of Sacramento and Stockton. The Utilities
and Energy Committee was also given oversight responsibility for the California Public Utilities Commission.
However, in creating the Utilities and Energy committee, jurisdiction over energy issues was divided between two committees.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee still had jurisdiction over legislation and issues involving overall energy policy
and the Energy Commission. In late 1982, Assembly Member Duffy's last year in the Legislature, he petitioned Willie Brown,
the Speaker of the Assembly, to revise policy committee jurisdictions so that energy issues were considered by only one committee.
This was accomplished with the passage of HR8 on January 13, 1983. The Assembly Energy and Natural Resources Committee was
abolished and the Utilities and Energy Committee was renamed the Utilities and Commerce Committee, with Assembly Member Gwen
Moore (Dem.) as chair. The Utilities and Commerce Committee's newly expanded jurisdiction included all legislation relevant
to public utilities, trade and commerce, and the cable television and telecommunications industries, as well as retaining
oversight over the Public Utilities Commission.
Over the next twenty-two years, the committee's jurisdiction remained relatively unchanged. The Public Utilities Commission
has been a focal point of the committee throughout its history. As new telecommunications technologies developed, such as
the Internet and cellular telephones, they automatically fell under the Utilities and Commerce Committee's purview. The passage
of AB1933 in 1988 brought affirmative action to the forefront of the Committee's attention, in the form of Minority, Women,
and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (MWDVBE's). It remained a focus for the Utilities and Commerce Committee until 1996,
when Proposition 209 abolished affirmative action in California.
The structure of the committee did vary over the course of its history. Although the Utilities and Energy Committee was established
with 12 members, it quickly grew to 13. After the establishment of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, membership rarely
stayed the same from year to year. The number of Committee members ranged from a low of 10 in 1985 to as high as 18 in 2002.
The chairs of these committees from 1981-2005 were:
Utilities and Energy Committee, 1981-1982
Duffy, Gordon (Rep.), 1981-1982
Utilities and Commerce Committee, 1983-present
Moore, Gwen (Dem.), 1983-1994
Conroy, Mickey (Rep.), 1995-1996
Wright, Roderick (Dem.), 1997-2002
Reyes, Sarah (Dem.), 2003-2004
Levine, Lloyd (Dem.), 2005-present
Scope and Content
The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee records consist of approximately 48.5 cubic of textual and audiovisual records
covering the years 1978-2005. In addition to the Assembly Utilities and Commerce records are records of its predecessors,
the Assembly Finance, Insurance, and Commerce Committee and the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee, as well as its subcommittees
including the Assembly Subcommittee on Cable Television (1978-1988) and the Assembly Subcommittee on International Trade and
Business Development (1991-1994). The records are organized into the following series: Bill Files (1982-2002), Hearing Files
(1978-2005), Reports (1978-2003), Subject Files (1978-2001), Press Releases (1982-1989), Correspondence (1981-1989), Consultant's
Correspondence (1983-1985), and Committee Files (1983-2004).
The bill files are the largest series, comprising approximately one third of the records. They document the bills directed
to the committee and include committee analysis, letters from interested parties, and the comments of the affected agencies.
These files show the close involvement of the committee in such issues as electrical industry restructuring, baseline energy
rates, telecommunications issues (particularly regarding residential telephone service and Lifeline telephone rates), and
Minority, Women and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises. The majority of the bill files involve the Public Utilities Commission
(PUC) and its regulation of common carriers and the telecommunications, electricity, and natural gas industries. From 1995
to 2000 (particularly 1997-1998), a significant portion of the bills relates to electrical industry restructuring and deregulation.
Hearing files are the second largest series in the collection. Many of the hearings involve public utilities, particularly
in regards to the PUC and MWDVBE's. Other significant topics include telecommunications, PUC regulation and oversight, and
natural gas. There are also several hearings throughout the series that address high electric and gas bills. However, there
are no hearing files from 1995 to 1998, so this series does not have a strong representation of hearings relating to electrical
A wide variety of reports are also available in the collection. The majority involve the telecommunications, gas, and electric
industries, particularly relating to the PUC. Many of the reports relate to or were provided by companies such as Pacific
Gas and Electric (PGandE), Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas, or San Diego Gas and Electric.
Subject files also comprise a significant portion of the collection. There are extensive materials available on MWDVBE's and
related topics such as Affirmative Action, AB1933 (1988), General Order 156 (1988), Fuel Procurement, and HR30 (1992). There
are also several subject files relating to energy, such as Electricity, Low Income Energy Program, Natural Gas, and Court
Cases (Utilities). Other significant topics include Ports, the SC Edison and SDGandE Merger, and the PUC. The PUC subject
file contains a wide variety of information relating to proceedings, reports, correspondence, and press releases from and
relating to the Public Utilities Commission. Many of the subject files do not directly relate to the Utilities and Commerce
Committee, but rather represent issues of interest to Gwen Moore, the Committee's chair from 1983 to 1994.
The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee records also include the records of two subcommittees. The records of the Subcommittee
on International Trade and Business Development consist of only one hearing file, relating to environmental impacts in the
California economy and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The records of the Subcommittee on Cable Television,
however, are much more extensive. They include bill files, hearing files, reports, subject files, and correspondence. The
Subcommittee on Cable Television existed for a single legislative session, and was chaired by Gwen Moore before she assumed
responsibility for the Utilities and Commerce Committee.
It is anticipated that the Archives will receive further records from the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. Researchers
should check the accession binders in the Archives Reference Room for recently received, unprocessed records.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
California Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Natural gas industry
Related Collections at the California State Archives
Gordon W. Duffy Papers
Gwen Moore Papers
Mickey Conroy Papers
Roderick D. Wright Papers
Sarah Reyes Papers
Lloyd E. Levine Papers
Assembly Commerce and Public Utilities Committee Records
Assembly Finance, Insurance, and Commerce Committee Records
Assembly Resources, Land Use, and Energy Committee Records
Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee Records
Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee Records
Senate Public Utilities, Transit, and Energy Committee Records
Public Utilities Commission Records
Gwen Moore, Oral History Interview, Conducted 2003 and 2004 by Susan Douglass Yates, UCLA Oral History Program, for the California
State Archives State Government Oral History Program.
Researchers interested in this committee are advised to check the papers of its Chairs. Committee Chairs often kept materials
relating to committee operations among their personal files. For Chair papers available at the California State Archives or
other repositories, this information can be found in the committee history.