Bill changing Tennessee Regulatory Authority's structure passes

photo Tennessee Rep. Mike McDonald

Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog

NASHVILLE - An overhaul of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority passed Tuesday in the waning hours of the 107th General Assembly and is headed to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's desk.

The House dropped a provision senators objected to and gave final approval 72-11 to the measure, which Haslam proposed and is expected to sign.

Haslam's bill changes the current structure of the TRA, which regulates utilities such as Tennessee American Water and Chattanooga Gas. The agency goes from a four-member, full-time board into a five-member, part-time board with a full-time executive director.

Haslam says the TRA no longer needs a full-time board because the responsibilities of the agency, which hears contested rate-hike requests by utilities, have fallen dramatically as a result of telecommunications deregulation.