General Assembly Hires SPP Faculty Members

Posted: January 31, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Muneeza Alam

Members of the research faculty from the School of Public Policy (SPP) have been hired by a General Assembly subcommittee to aid in a policies and performance study of the State Corporation Commission (SCC). The commission is a semi-independent agency that regulates and oversees Virginia’s banking, insurance, and security companies; energy and communications utilities; and railroads. Among the areas studied will be the SCC’s preparation in dealing with major trends affecting industry and its performance in regulating and deregulating Virginia’s industries.

The subcommittee sent out invitations for research assistance to all of Virginia’s four-year institutions, and George Mason was the only school to respond.

James Riggle, a senior research fellow and member of the consulting team, says the focus of the research is to determine whether the economy has undergone changes that might call for regulatory action. “We have to determine the nature of change and look at the underlying causes of it. We will do that by focusing on industry and talking with industry leaders,” says Riggle. The study is due in late summer when the panel will review it and decide what actions to take.

The legislature did not approve money for hiring consultants when the subcommittee was created. To make up for the lack of funding, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry Duval is contributing $50,000, a legislative committee is providing another $50,000 in state money, and George Mason is donating the balance of its nearly $150,000 bill for the study.

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