California senate backs Public Utilities Commission reforms

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate has approved two bills aimed at reigning in the California Public Utilities Commission following allegations that the powerful agency is too cozy with the utilities it regulates.

The Senate's unanimous approval on Tuesday follows Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of similar legislation in October.

Democratic senators who wrote the bills say they're negotiating with Brown's office in hopes of finding a compromise.

The bills would require more transparency for the CPUC, including limits on private communications with utility officials and requirements for public meetings and participation.

A San Francisco judge ruled Monday that a lawsuit seeking emails between the commission and the governor's office can continue. A lawyer seeking the emails says the emails could relate to the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant in Southern California.

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