JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Senate will soon be left with a vacancy, one that will be felt by across the state.
Sen. Ryan Silvey, one of the most ardent advocates of the “Old Senate” will no longer be “of the Senate.”
“I am pleased to appoint Senator Silvey as a member of the PSC,” said Governor Greitens. “He understands the need for all Missourians to have access to reliable and affordable energy.”
“I am honored to be appointed by the Governor to this position of public trust. Governor Greitens understands that Missouri’s energy rates continue to climb while our infrastructure deteriorates. He is a forward thinker, committed to addressing difficult problems like this in proactive way,” said Senator Silvey.
The Republican senator from Clay County has been appointed to serve on the Missouri Public Service by Gov. Eric Greitens, taking over the spot that will be vacated by the term-limited Commissioner Stephen Stoll. Commissioners serve six-year terms, and Stoll’s tenure expired on December 13, 2017.
There is no political requirement for membership and appointments to the five members of PSC.
The move is an interesting one, as the Senator from Clay has at times been at odds with his party’s Governor, most notably when the organization pushing Greitens political agenda, A New Missouri, began attacking senators on social media. Silvey was reportedly on the list of senators who were next on the list after the attacks were issued against Sen. Rob Schaaf.
Silvey served in the Missouri House from 2004-2012, where he made waves as the youngest House budget chair in the history of the state and the country. Serving as Budget Chairman in 2011 and 2012, Silvey guided the state through the “Great Recession” by balancing Missouri’s budget without raising taxes, and under his leadership, Missouri kept its AAA bond rating, one of just seven states to do so.
He was then elected to the Senate in 2012 after a 52-48 victory over Democratic candidate Sandra Reeves to claim the District 17 seat.
Silvey has long been interested in utility legislation and has been a staunch supporter of utility modernization. In 2017, he served as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment, where his committee heavily debated proposed grid modernization legislation.
As an interim appointment, Sen. Silvey’s nomination requires the approval of the Missouri Senate within 30 days of the start of the legislative session which begins on January 3rd.
“In 2015, when I named Sen. Silvey as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment, I placed a great deal of faith in his ability to navigate the complex issues the committee handles,” said Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard. “His knowledge about the utility industry has been evident over the last two years by the way he led discussions and debate in committee and on the Senate floor. I’m pleased to sponsor his appointment for approval by the Missouri Senate.”
As a sitting member of the Missouri Senate, Sen. Silvey will recuse himself from any vote affecting his own nomination and will delay taking the oath of office for the PSC position pursuant to Art. VII, Sec. 11 and Section 386.110 RSMo until confirmed by the Senate.
During the first special session of 2017, Silvey, along with Sen. Doug Libla and Gary Romine, worked tirelessly to guide the proposed utility legislation through the House and to the Senate in a manner that both chambers could agree upon.
The senator has also sponsored utility legislation himself, including a proposal in 2016 that sought to amend the state’s regulatory law so that utilities could expect quicker and more predictable returns for their investments in infrastructure. At the time, Silvey described the bill as a way to develop a modern system that “works for today’s issues.”
Now, Silvey will take his experience down the street to the Governor’s Office Building, where he will take a seat at the table with the other commissioners, which consists of two Democrats, Chairman Daniel Hall and Commissioner Maida Coleman, and two Republicans in Commissioners Scott Rupp and Bill Kenney.
Silvey’s departure will come roughly midway through his second term, as he was re-elected in 2016, ending his term in 2020.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.