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The Commission

Overview of the Commission

The State Corporation Commission is vested with regulatory authority over many business and economic interests in Virginia. These interests are as varied as the SCC's powers, which are delineated by the state constitution and state law. Its authority ranges from setting rates charged by large investor-owned utilities to serving as the central filing agency for corporations in Virginia.

Initially established to oversee the railroad and telephone and telegraph industries in Virginia, the SCC's jurisdiction now includes many businesses which directly impact Virginia consumers. The SCC's authority encompasses utilities, insurance, state-chartered financial institutions, securities, retail franchising, and railroads. It is the state's central filing office for corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and Uniform Commercial Code liens.

The SCC's structure is unique in that it is organized as a separate department of government with delegated administrative, legislative, and judicial powers. SCC decisions can only be appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court.

SCC Organizational Chart

SCC Background

The Virginia Constitution of 1902 created the SCC to replace the Board of Public Works and the Office of Railroad Commissioner. The three-member Commission was charged with regulating the state railroads and telephone and telegraph companies and with registering corporations in Virginia. The SCC began operations on March 2, 1903. Since then, the Virginia General Assembly has broadened the SCC's regulatory authority.

The 1902 Constitution vested the SCC with three forms of power -- judicial, legislative, and executive. The SCC acts as a court of record and holds formal hearings when warranted. It can enforce its orders by fines or contempt citations. There is a right of appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court from any SCC decision. The SCC's executive authority is exercised in its day-to-day administration. Its legislative authority is exercised when it makes rules or sets rates.

SCC 1903-2003: Celebrating a Century of Service to the Commonwealth

The Commission's Objective

Headquartered in the Tyler Building in downtown Richmond, the SCC is near the State Capitol and adjacent to Richmond's major financial and commerce center. This location, between the government and business districts, is symbolic of the Commission's objective.

The SCC's objective is to fulfill the duties prescribed by the law. To achieve that objective, the Commission has identified the following Chief Goals:

  • Carry out the duties prescribed by the Constitution and the laws enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia fully and to the best of its ability;
  • Ensure that all parties and persons who appear before the Commission receive due process of law;
  • Provide reliable information and assistance to Virginians in a consistent and high-quality fashion;
  • Provide assistance to Virginians who have valid disputes with regulated companies; and
  • Adopt rules and regulations that keep pace with legislative, business, economic, social and technological changes.

Mission

The State Corporation Commission will strive to apply law and regulation to balance the interests of citizens, businesses, and customers in regulating Virginia's business and economic concerns and work continually to improve the regulatory and administrative processes.

To obtain general information about the SCC, contact the Division of Information Resources. This division has publications available about the SCC. It answers general questions about the SCC divisions and areas of SCC jurisdiction. This division refers callers to the appropriate division or other state agencies, if necessary. Information Resources arranges for SCC speakers and works with student groups. You may call the division at (804) 371-9141 or toll-free at 1-800-552-7945.

Review Annual Report of the State Corporation Commission