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Inventory of the California State Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Records
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Committee History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: California State Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Records
    Dates: 1978-2005
    Collection number: See series descriptions.
    Creator: Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee Assembly Finance, Insurance, and Commerce Committee
    Collection Size: 48.5 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    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: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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 collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee Records, LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition History

    The California State Archives acquired the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee records according to state law.

    Committee History

    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 deregulation.
    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.

    Indexing Terms

    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
    Telecommunication
    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

    Oral Histories

    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.

    Related Material

    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.