- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A bill targeting a Wyoming agency that advocates for the interests of the public when utilities seek rate hikes is moving forward in the state Legislature.

The Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday voted to send the bill to the full Senate.

The bill would move the sunset date for the state Office of Consumer Advocate from 2023 to 2017. The office, which is funded by utilities, represents the public in utility rate cases.

Riverton Republican Sen. Eli Bebout is a bill sponsor. He told the committee the bill would give the office staff a chance to make its case to the Legislature whether the office should continue.

Representatives of several utilities testified against the bill, saying the office staff represents the public interest well.

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