Whenever any public service company, subject to regulation by the commission as to rates and service, files with the commission any schedule, classification, rule, or regulation, the effect of which is to change any rate, fare, charge, rental, or toll previously charged, the commission may, either upon its own motion or upon complaint, upon notice, hold a hearing concerning the proposed change and the reasonableness and justness of it. Pending the hearing and the decision, the commission may suspend the operation of the rate, fare, charge, rental, or toll, if the change is proposed by a common carrier other than a solid waste collection company, for a period not exceeding seven months, and, if proposed by a solid waste collection company, for a period not exceeding ten months from the time the change would otherwise go into effect. After a full hearing the commission may make the order in reference to the change as would be provided in a hearing initiated after the change had become effective.
At any hearing involving any change in any schedule, classification, rule, or regulation the effect of which is to increase any rate, fare, charge, rental, or toll theretofore charged, the burden of proof to show that the increase is just and reasonable is upon the public service company. When any common carrier files any tariff, classification, rule, or regulation the effect of which is to decrease any rate, fare, or charge, the burden of proof to show that such decrease is just and reasonable is upon the common carrier.
During a state of emergency declared under RCW 43.06.010
(12), the governor may waive or suspend the operation or enforcement of this section or any portion of this section or under any administrative rule, and issue any orders to facilitate the operation of state or local government or to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population.