Maui News

Rep. Morita Appointed as PUC Chair

February 3, 2011, 4:13 PM HST
* Updated February 3, 4:14 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced his selection of State Representative Hermina Morita as the chair of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Courtesy photograph by Ricky Li.

“Hawaii has made good progress addressing energy issues, and Rep. Morita has been instrumental as one of the key lawmakers in making that happen,” said Gov. Abercrombie.

Morita fills the remaining three years left on Carlito Caliboso’s six year term.  Morita’s selection is still subject to Senate confirmation.  If approved, her term would continue through June 30, 2014.

Gov. Abercrombie will be responsible for appointing a replacement to fill Rep. Morita’s post at the state legislature.   Under state law, the replacement must be selected from a list of candidates from the 14th District and from the same political party as Morita, who is a Democrat.

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The three member PUC is responsible for setting rates for public service companies that operate in the State. The PUC also determines the allowable rate of earnings and issues guidelines concerning the management of utility businesses.

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“The PUC is a critical economic driver for the State and its decisions affects all residents and businesses throughout Hawai‘i,” Rep. Morita said. “It oversees essential services such as electricity, the state’s communications, and barge-cargo system throughout our islands.”

Rep. Morita was first elected to the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives in 1996. Currently, she represents the communities of Hanalei, Anahola, Kealia, Kapaa and Waipouli.  She serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection and is a member of the Water, Land Use & Ocean Resources, Housing, Judiciary and Consumer Protection Committees.

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