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AB-876 Telecommunications: California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Senate  July 01, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  January 17, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 876


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta

February 22, 2013


An act to amend Section 280 of, and to add Sections 280.1 and 280.2 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 876, as amended, Bonta. Telecommunications: California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund.
Existing law requires the Public Utilities Commission to develop and implement a program funded by the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations.
This bill would specify that discounted rates are available to qualifying schools maintaining preschools and transitional kindergartens. The bill would require the commission to develop and implement an outreach plan to preschools and transitional kindergartens to increase awareness of services available to these schools under the program described above.
This bill would require the commission to revise the program described above to give priority for advanced communication communications services as the commission deems appropriate. The bill would require the commission to ensure that the program described above does not favor a particular technology used to provide advanced communication communications services to qualifying entities. The bill would require the commission to open or amend an existing proceeding to develop a plan on the feasibility and expense associated with establishing and maintaining a database of communication services purchased by qualifying entities receiving financial support from the program and the prices paid for those communication services. The bill would require the commission to report the plan findings or progress on the plan to the Legislature and to specified committees of the Legislature no later than March 1, 2016.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 280 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

280.
 (a) The commission shall develop, implement, and administer a program to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools maintaining preschool, transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, consistent with Chapter 278 of the Statutes of 1994.
(b) There is hereby created the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee, which is an advisory board to advise the commission regarding the development, implementation, and administration of a program to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools maintaining preschool, transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, consistent with Chapter 278 of the Statutes of 1994, and to carry out the program pursuant to the commission’s direction, control, and approval.
(c) All revenues collected by telephone corporations in rates authorized by the commission to fund the program specified in subdivision (a) shall be submitted to the commission pursuant to a schedule established by the commission. The commission shall transfer the moneys received to the Controller for deposit in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund. All interest earned by moneys in the fund shall be deposited in the fund.
(d) Moneys appropriated from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund to the commission shall be utilized exclusively by the commission for the program specified in subdivision (a), including all costs of the board and the commission associated with the administration and oversight of the program and the fund.
(e) Moneys loaned from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund in the Budget Act of 2003 are subject to Section 16320 of the Government Code. If the commission determines a need for moneys in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund, the commission shall notify the Director of Finance of the need, as specified in Section 16320 of the Government Code. The commission shall not increase the rates authorized by the commission to fund the program specified in subdivision (b) while moneys loaned from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund in the Budget Act of 2003 are outstanding unless both of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The Director of Finance, after making a determination pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16320 of the Government Code, does not order repayment of all or a portion of any loan from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund within 30 days of notification by the commission of the need for the moneys.
(2) The commission notifies the Director of Finance and the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in writing that it intends to increase the rates authorized by the commission to fund the program specified in subdivision (a). The notification required pursuant to this paragraph shall be made 30 days in advance of the intended rate increase.
(f) Subdivision (e) shall become inoperative upon full repayment or discharge of all moneys loaned from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund in the Budget Act of 2003.

SEC. 2.

 Section 280.1 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

280.1.
 The commission shall develop and implement an outreach plan to preschools and transitional kindergartens to increase awareness of services available to these schools under the program developed pursuant to Section 280.

SEC. 3.

 Section 280.2 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

280.2.
 (a) (1) The commission shall open or amend an existing proceeding to develop a plan on the feasibility and expense associated with establishing and maintaining a database of communication services purchased by qualifying entities receiving financial support from the program developed pursuant to Section 280 and the prices paid for those communication services.
(2) The plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(A) A report on how to allow qualifying entities access to the database in order to collaborate and allow for the use of common infrastructure to reduce costs.
(B) A report on how to make only aggregated and anonymous price information from the database available to the public on the commission’s Internet Web site.
(3) In developing the plan required under this subdivision, the commission may work with a third party, including, but not limited to, a nonprofit organization, if the commission determines the third party can provide assistance in developing the plan while maintaining the privacy and security of all data through a suitable legally binding agreement. For the purposes of this paragraph, the K-12 High-Speed Network and the California State Library shall collaborate with the commission and share data and contact information related to services that schools and libraries purchase that are eligible for discounts pursuant to Section 280.
(4) The commission shall report the plan findings or progress on the plan to the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce, the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and the Legislature no later than March 1, 2016.
(b)  The commission shall revise the program developed pursuant to Section 280 to give priority to using moneys in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund for advanced communications services as the commission deems appropriate. The commission shall ensure that the program developed pursuant to Section 280 does not favor a particular technology used to provide advanced communications services to qualifying entities.