Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Beverly Jones Heydinger to be the next chair of the Public Utilities Commission.
Heydinger has served as a judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings since 1999. Prior to that she spent two decades with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. Heydinger also currently chairs the Minnesota Supreme Court’s committee that oversees grants that provide legal assistance to low income Minnesotans.
“Judge Heydinger will be an outstanding Chair of the PUC,” Dayton said, in a statement announcing the appointment. “In her work as an Administrative Law Judge, she has demonstrated a strong depth, breadth of knowledge, and ability to master complex issues quickly.”
The PUC primarily oversees three industries: electricity, natural gas and telecommunications. Dayton’s initial choice for the regulatory post was former state Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St. Paul. But her appointment was rejected by Senate Republicans on a party-line confirmation vote in January. At the time Anderson was criticized for “demonizing” fossil fuels. She is the only Dayton appointee to be rejected by the Senate.