St. Louis Beacon, January 9, 2013
Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed Bill Kenney to the Missouri Public Service Commission, a move that could end a temporary logjam for the powerful entity that regulates the state's utilities.
Kenney is a former Republican state senator from the Kansas City area who most recently served as Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s chief of staff. He is perhaps best known for his tenure as a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.
“As a former two-term state senator and Senate majority floor leader, Bill Kenney has the experience and knowledge necessary to be a valuable member of the Public Service Commission,” Nixon said in a statement. “I am confident he will put those skills to effective use on behalf of Missouri families, businesses and communities while serving on the PSC.”
Nixon’s move was important because Republicans may have blocked PSC Commissioner Steve Stoll’s nomination without a corresponding Republican appointment. Stoll is a former Democratic state senator.
The Associated Press reported last year that GOP senators had no problem with Stoll’s nomination but wanted the governor to fill a vacancy caused by the departure of Republican PSC Commissioner Jeff Davis.
Kinder – who served as Senate president pro tem when Kenney was in office – released a statement praising the move. He called Kenney “a distinguished public servant who served honorably as the majority leader of the Senate and has been an asset to the lieutenant governor’s office.”
“I am pleased that Gov. Nixon appointed my chief of staff, Bill Kenney, to the Public Service Commission – the second time a Democratic governor has selected my chief of staff for this important governmental body,” Kinder said. “Gov. Bob Holden appointed Jeff Davis from my office in 2004, and now Gov. Nixon has picked Bill Kenney as Jeff’s replacement. … I wish him well in his new position.”
The Public Service Commission is responsible, among other things, for deciding utility cases and for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules. Kenney’s appointment must be approved by the Missouri Senate.