Mississippi Public Service Commission chairman Lynn Posey says it would cost the state less than $250,000 a year, if the PSC were allowed to hire three new staff members.
Commissioners want people with expertise in law and accounting who can help evaluate utility companies' financial records.
Legislators start a special session Friday to consider the PSC budget, and it's not clear whether commissioners will get the new staff positions they're seeking.
House Democratic leaders support the request, but Gov. Haley Barbour and Republican leaders in the Senate oppose it.
The PSC and the related Public Utilities Staff were the only government agencies without a spending plan when Mississippi's budget year started July 1.