The Legislative Consumer Committee appoints the Consumer Counsel, a position required by the Montana Constitution. The Consumer Counsel represents Montana public utility and transportation consumers before the Public Service Commission, state and federal courts, and administrative agencies in matters concerning public utility regulation.
The Committee is required to meet at least quarterly, and generally convenes more often. Meetings involve discussions with industry representatives, reports on Consumer Counsel staff activities, review and status updates of current cases, and review of contracts with expert witnesses. Two Senators and two Representatives, appointed by the Committee on Committees and the Speaker of the House, respectively, serve on the panel.
Restructuring of the electric and natural gas utility industries will be an issue of particular interest to the Committee, especially as rates and services are affected, and members will be monitoring the progress of industry restructuring.