The state’s utility regulation commission is back up to full strength with the swearing-in of Shari Feist Albrecht, officials said Wednesday.
Albrecht comes to the job from a position as an environmental attorney with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, where she has worked since 1993. Previously she was a member of the commission staff serving as director of the Oil and Gas division.
Gov. Sam Brownback filed Albrecht’s appointment in June and an interim Senate committee confirmed the appointment last week. Joining current commissioners Mark Sievers and Thomas Wright, Albrecht will serve until March of 2016.
The commission has been running with two members since Commissioner Ward Loyd’s term expired in March.
Albrecht comes into office in the middle of two major rate cases in which Kansas Gas Service and Kansas City Power & Light are seeking millions of dollars in rate increases.
Sievers and Wright recently conducted public hearings by themselves on the KGS case, including a hearing in Wichita.
The court-like evidentiary hearings in the cases have not begun yet, so Albrecht will be sitting as a voting member on the proposed rate hikes, said KCC spokesman Jesse Borjon.