ACC doesn't have ‘sole authority'
A recent Yuma Sun editorial about the state Legislature seeking final authority over decisions made by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) asserted the ACC has “sole authority under the Arizona Constitution to regulate utilities.” Your assertion is incorrect and was rejected by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1918, just six years after statehood.
In that case, the Arizona Eastern Railroad Company argued that “sole authority” over public service corporations (a term which includes both railroads and utilities) in Arizona rests with the corporation commission and that it consequently did not have to comply with state statutes limiting the length of its trains. The Supreme Court quickly determined the railroad was subject to the authority of the Legislature, that it violated the statute and was subject to the penalties imposed thereby.
Today, Arizona utilities are subject to myriads of regulations, labor and employment, environmental, water rights, etc., from regulatory bodies other than the corporation commission. The corporation commission is the economic regulator for utilities in Arizona, not the environmental regulator.
Whatever the other criticisms of HB 2789 may be, as chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission, I reject the notion that it is constitutionally problematic for the Legislature and the corporation commission to exercise concurrent jurisdiction over utilities in this state.