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AB-1811 Public utilities: for hire vessel operators: household movers: commercial air operators.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/04/2019 09:00 PM
AB1811:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1811


Introduced by Committee on Communications and Conveyance

March 04, 2019


An act to amend Sections 421, 422, 423, 424, 737.3, 3901, 3902, 3903, 3950, and 24243 of, to amend the heading of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 3901) of Division 2 of, to add Part 3 (commencing with Section 24000) to Division 9 of, to repeal Sections 912.1, 918, 918.1, and 918.2 of, and to repeal Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 5500) of Division 2 of, the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1811, as introduced, Committee on Communications and Conveyance. Public utilities: for hire vessel operators: household movers: commercial air operators.
(1) Existing law requires the Legislative Counsel to annually prepare, publish, and maintain an electronic list of all reports that state and local agencies are required or requested by law to prepare and file with the Governor or the Legislature, or both, in the future or within the preceding year.
This bill would require the Legislative Counsel to revise the list by deleting a specified report from the list.
(2) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities. Chapter 421 of the Statutes of 2017 transferred regulatory authority for vessels for hire from the commission to the Division of Boating and Waterways within the Department of Parks and Recreation, for household goods carriers, which were renamed to “household movers,” from the commission to the Division of Household Movers within the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings, and Thermal Insulation in the Department of Consumer Affairs, and for commercial air operators from the commission to the city, county, or city and county with geographic jurisdiction.
This bill would make conforming changes, update cross-references, and renumber provisions, relating to those transfers of regulatory authority. The bill would also repeal certain related reporting requirements of the commission.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 421 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

421.
 (a) The commission shall annually determine a fee to be paid by every passenger stage corporation, charter-party carrier of passengers, pipeline corporation, for-hire vessel operator, common carrier vessel operator, and railroad corporation, and commercial air operator, and every other common carrier and related business subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, except as otherwise provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 431) of this chapter and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 5001) of Division 2. 431).
(b) The annual fee shall be established to produce a total amount equal to the amount established in the authorized commission budget for the same year, including adjustments appropriated by the Legislature and an appropriate reserve, to regulate common carriers and related businesses, less the amount to be paid from special accounts or funds pursuant to Section 403, reimbursements, federal funds, other revenues, and unencumbered funds from the preceding year.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the fees paid by railroad corporations shall be used for state-funded railroad investigation and enforcement activities of the commission, other than the rail safety activities funded by the Transportation Planning and Development Account pursuant to Section 99315. The railroad fees shall be set annually at a level that generates not less than the amount sufficient to fund activities pursuant to Sections 765.5, 916.2, and 7712.
(d) Expenditures of the detailed budget for the expenditure of railroad corporation fees submitted to the Legislature pursuant to Section 916.5 shall be limited to the following items:
(1) Expenditures for employees occupying, and actually performing service in, railroad-safety personnel positions that are directly involved in inspecting railroads and enforcing rail safety regulations. The commission shall expend the funds budgeted pursuant to this subdivision for the salaries, per diem, and travel expenses of employees specified in this paragraph, unless, by statute, the commission is specifically prohibited from expending all or part of those funds.
(2) Expenditures for employees occupying, and actually performing service in, clerical and support staff positions that are directly associated with railroad-safety inspections.
(3) Expenditures for legal personnel who actually pursue violations of rail safety regulations beyond the informal complaint level.
(4) Expenditures for the pro rata share of the commission’s overhead costs while state personnel are actually occupying the positions and are performing the duties specified in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
(e) The Department of Finance shall notify the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, pursuant to Section 28.00 of the annual Budget Act, prior to before authorizing any change in the Budget Act appropriation for railroad corporation fees that is larger than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or 10 percent of the amount budgeted, whichever is less.
(f) On or before January 1, 1994, the commission shall hire a minimum of four additional operating practices inspectors, exclusive of supervisory personnel, who are, or shall become by July 1, 1994, federally certified, for the purpose of enforcing compliance by railroads operating in this state with state and federal safety regulations.
(g) The commission, in performing its duties, shall limit the expenditure of funds for rail safety purposes to those railroad corporation fees collected pursuant to subdivision (d). In no event shall the commission The commission shall not fund railroad safety activities utilizing using funds from other commission accounts unrelated to railroad safety.

SEC. 2.

 Section 422 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

422.
 The commission shall establish the fee pursuant to Section 421 with the approval of the Department of Finance and in accordance with all of the following:
(a) In its annual budget request, the commission shall specify, at a minimum, both of the following:
(1) The amount of its budget to be financed by the fee.
(2) The dollar allocation of the amount of its budget to be financed by the fee by each class of carrier and related business subject to the fee. Each class of carrier and related business subject to this article shall pay fees sufficient to support the commission’s regulatory activities for the class from which the fee is collected and to establish an appropriate reserve.
(b) The commission may establish different and distinct methods of assessing fees for each class of carrier and related business, if the revenues collected are consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(c) (1) Within each class of carrier and related business subject to the fee, the commission shall allocate, among the members of the class, the amount of the commission’s budget to be financed by the fee based on the ratio that each member’s gross intrastate revenues bears to the total gross intrastate revenues of the class, except for railroad corporations, whose fees shall be allocated within that class in accordance with subdivision (g). (f).
(2) However, in the case of passenger vehicle operators, the commission may assess fees on a basis other than revenue, including, but not limited to, on a per vehicle basis, in an amount sufficient to support the regulatory activities of the commission for the passenger vehicle operators class from which the fee is collected, and to establish an appropriate reserve.
(d) Any carrier or related business which that is a member of more than one class of carrier or related business shall be subject to the fee for each class of which it is a member.
(e) For every carrier and related business having annual gross intrastate revenues of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or less, or for every railroad corporation having annual gross intrastate revenues of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or less, the commission shall annually establish uniform fees, which shall be not less than a minimum annual fee, to be paid by each carrier and related business and by each railroad corporation, if the revenues collected are consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). Every carrier and related business and railroad corporation paying fees pursuant to this subdivision shall show proof of eligibility at the time of payment in a form the commission may specify.

(f)The commission shall annually establish a uniform fee, which shall be not less than a minimum annual fee, to be paid by every commercial air operator and for-hire vessel operator, if the revenues collected are consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(g)

(f) The commission shall establish the initial fee amount to be paid by railroad corporations subject to this section, and the regulations for the assessment and collection of the fee, no later than January 31, 1992. The commission shall collect the initial fee from railroad corporations beginning on February 1, 1992, and shall disburse the amounts collected as directed in Section 309.7, as added by Assembly Bill 684 of the 1991–92 Regular Session, and Section 421.

(h)

(g) The commission shall establish regulations for allocating the proportionate share of the fee established pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) to be paid by the rail corporations within that class. The regulations may utilize use gross intrastate revenues; track mileage within the state; terminals located within the state; loaded car miles traveled within the state; fuel consumption; or any other measure deemed by the commission to be appropriate in allocating the fee among railroad corporations. On or before January 15, 1992, railroad corporations as a group may submit a proposed plan of allocation to the commission, which the commission shall consider in establishing the regulations.

SEC. 3.

 Section 423 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

423.
 Except as provided in Section 404, every carrier and related business subject to Section 421 shall make the payments of the required fee in accordance with the following schedule:
(a) Every carrier and related business with annual gross intrastate revenues of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or less, less and railroad corporation, commercial air operator, and for-hire vessel operator corporation shall make payment of the fee to the commission on an annual basis on or before January 15.
(b) Every other carrier and related business not subject to subdivision (a) shall make payment of the fee on a quarterly basis between the first and 15th days of July, October, January, and April.
(c) Each carrier and related business subject to subdivision (b) shall, at that time, prepare and transmit a report, in the form the commission may specify, showing the gross operating revenue of the carrier or related business for the calendar quarter covered by the report together with the fee established pursuant to Section 421. In the case of a railroad corporation, the report shall address the factors identified by the commission as the basis for allocation pursuant to subdivision (g) (f) of Section 422.
(d) Any carrier or related business required to submit information and reports under this article may, in lieu thereof, submit copies of information or reports made to another governmental agency if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) The alternate information or reports contain all of the information required by the commission.
(2) The requirements to which the alternate information or reports are responsive are clearly identified.
(3) The information or reports are certified by the carrier or related business to be true and correct.

SEC. 4.

 Section 424 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

424.
 As used in this article:
(a) “Class” means a group of carriers or related businesses as specified by the commission for purposes of establishing the fees pursuant to this article. The commission shall create separate classes for the following: passenger vehicle operators, pipeline corporations, common carrier vessel operators, and railroad corporations, and commercial air operators. corporations. Nothing in this section restricts the commission from establishing other carrier classes or from establishing other classes within the existing classes listed in this section, including classes based on the kinds of vehicles used.
(b) “Gross intrastate revenue” includes all compensation for the transportation or storage of property or the transportation of persons when both the origin and destination of the transportation or the performance of the service is within this state, and shall not include compensation for the transportation of persons or property in interstate or foreign commerce or the transportation of vehicles by ferries. “Gross intrastate revenue,” as determined pursuant to this article, shall apply only for purposes of determining the fees required by this chapter and shall not necessarily constitute gross operating revenue for any other purpose.
(c) “Fee” means that monetary amount determined in accordance with this article.

SEC. 5.

 Section 737.3 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

737.3.
 (a) (1) A highway carrier, as defined by subdivision (c), a freight forwarder, a party representing a carrier or freight forwarder, or an assignee of a carrier or freight forwarder shall not, based on a filed tariff or a filed contract, collect or attempt to collect any additional charge in excess of the charge originally billed by the carrier or freight forwarder for transportation service previously provided subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, except where there are mistakes in billing that are acknowledged by both parties or that are the result of intentional misrepresentation by the shipper.
(2) Similarly, the person or entity against whom a claim has been made under the circumstances described in paragraph (1) shall not be liable for additional amounts based on a filed tariff or a filed contract, except where there are mistakes in billing acknowledged by both parties or that are the result of intentional misrepresentation by the shipper.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “claimant” shall mean the carrier or freight forwarder, or its assignee or representative making a claim for the collection of rates and charges in addition to those originally billed and collected for the transportation.
(c) “Highway carrier” or “carrier” means every corporation or person, their lessees, trustees, receivers or trustees appointed by any court whatsoever, engaged in transportation of property for compensation or hire as a business over any public highway in this state by means of a motor vehicle, except that “highway carrier” does not include:
(1) Any farmer resident of this state who occasionally transports from the place of production to a warehouse, regular market, place of storage, or place of shipment the farm products of neighboring farmers in exchange for like services or for a cash consideration or farm products for compensation.
(2) Persons or corporations hauling their own property.
(3) Any farmer operating a motor vehicle used exclusively in the transportation of his or her the farmer’s livestock and agricultural commodities or in the transportation of supplies to his or her the farmer’s farm.
(4) Any nonprofit agricultural cooperative association organized and acting within the scope of its powers under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 54001) of Division 20 of the Food and Agricultural Code to the extent only that it is engaged in transporting its own property or the property of its members.
(5) Any person exclusively transporting United States mail pursuant to a contract with the United States government.

(6)Any integrated intermodal small package carrier which is registered subject to Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 4120).

(7)Any household goods carrier, as defined in Section 5109.

(d) For purposes of this section, “mistakes in billing” include, but are not limited to, matters such as clerical errors, billing for transportation of a different commodity than the commodity actually shipped, and billing for transportation of a smaller amount of the commodity than the amount actually shipped.
(e) This section shall apply to all claims arising from transportation performed (in whole or in part) before January 1, 1995, including all lawsuits or claims pending on the effective date of this section.
(f) If any claim that qualifies under this section was settled by mutual agreement of the parties to the claim, or resolved by a final adjudication of a federal or state court, before the effective date of this section, the settlement or adjudication shall be treated as binding, enforceable, and not contrary to law, unless the settlement was agreed to as a result of fraud or coercion.
(g) If the claimant has filed, on or before the effective date of this section, a suit for the collection of additional freight charges, the claimant shall notify the person, or entity, from whom additional freight charges are sought of the provisions of this section within 30 days of the effective date of this section.
(h) If, on or before the effective date of this section, the claimant has demanded the payment of additional freight charges and has not filed a suit for the collection of additional freight charges, the claimant shall notify the person, or entity, from whom additional freight charges are sought of the provisions of this section within 30 days of the effective date of this section.

SEC. 6.

 Section 912.1 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.
912.1.

The Public Utilities Commission shall conduct an audit of the expenditures of the funds received pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 5001) of Division 2 each fiscal year. The results of this audit shall be reported in writing, on or before February 15th of each year thereafter, with respect to the audit for the fiscal year ending on the previous June 30th, to the appropriate policy and budget committees of the respective houses of the Legislature.

SEC. 7.

 Section 918 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.
918.

The commission shall, within 30 days prior to commencement of the regular session of the Legislature, submit to the Governor a full and true report of transactions under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 5001) of Division 2 during the preceding biennium, including a complete statement of receipts and expenditures during the period.

SEC. 8.

 Section 918.1 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.
918.1.

(a)The commission shall hire an independent entity for not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) to, in consultation with carrier trade associations for industries under the jurisdiction of the commission, assess the capabilities of the commission’s Transportation Enforcement Branch to carry out the activities specified in subdivision (b) of Section 5102 and subdivision (b) of Section 5352. The commission shall report to the Legislature no later than February 1, 2017, on licensing matters and no later than July 1, 2017, on enforcement matters. The report shall contain an analysis of current capabilities and deficiencies, and recommendations to overcome any deficiencies identified.

(b)Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 9.

 Section 918.2 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.
918.2.

The commission and the Department of Insurance shall collaborate on a study of transportation network company insurance to assess whether coverage requirements are appropriate to the risk of transportation network company services in order to promote data-driven decisions on insurance requirements, and shall report the findings of this study to the Legislature no later than December 31, 2017.

SEC. 10.

 The heading of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 3901) of Division 2 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  1. Interstate and Foreign Motor Carriers of Household Goods and Passengers Act

SEC. 11.

 Section 3901 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

3901.
 This chapter may be cited as the Interstate and Foreign Motor Carriers of Household Goods and Passengers Act.

SEC. 12.

 Section 3902 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

3902.
 (a) No household goods carrier, as defined in Section 5109, shall engage in any interstate or foreign transportation of property for compensation by motor vehicle, and no A motor carrier shall not engage in any interstate or foreign transportation of passengers for compensation by motor vehicle, on any public highway in this state without first having registered the operation with the commission or the carrier’s base registration state, if other than California, as determined in accordance with final regulations issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission pursuant to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (49 U.S.C. Sec. 11506). To register with the commission, carriers specified in this section shall comply with the following:
(1) When the operation requires authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission under the Interstate Commerce Act, or authority from another federal regulatory agency, a copy of that authority shall be filed with the initial application for registration. A copy of any additions or amendments to the authority shall be filed with the commission.
(2) If the operation does not require authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission under the Interstate Commerce Act, or authority from another federal regulatory agency, an affidavit of that exempt status shall be filed with the application for registration.
(3) The commission shall grant registration upon the filing of the application pursuant to applicable law and the payment of any applicable fees, subject to the carrier’s compliance with this chapter.

SEC. 13.

 Section 3903 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

3903.
 Household goods carriers, as defined in Section 5109, engaged in interstate or foreign transportation or property for compensation by motor vehicle, and motor Motor carriers engaged in interstate or foreign transportation of passengers for compensation by motor vehicle, upon any public highway in this state who had registered their authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission with the commission pursuant to former Section 3810 are not required to file another initial application as prescribed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 3902.

SEC. 14.

 Section 3950 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

3950.
 It is a violation of law for any person or corporation to operate, or cause to be operated, on the highways of this state, any motor vehicle in the transportation of property or passengers for compensation in interstate commerce without having first complied with the requirements of this chapter. That violation may be prosecuted and punished as provided in Section 16560 of the Vehicle Code.

SEC. 15.

 Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 5500) of Division 2 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 16.

 Part 3 (commencing with Section 24000) is added to Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:

PART 3. Commercial Air Carriers

24000.
 As used in this article, “commercial air operator” means any person owning, controlling, operating, renting, or managing aircraft for any commercial purpose for compensation. “Commercial air operator” does not include any person owning, controlling, operating, renting, managing, furnishing, or otherwise providing transportation by hot air balloon for entertainment, sporting, or recreational purposes.

24001.
 As used in this article, “aircraft” means any contrivance used for navigation of, or flight in, the air. “Aircraft” does not include a hot air balloon furnished or providing transportation for entertainment, sporting, or recreational purposes.

24002.
 As used in this article, “person” means any individual, firm, partnership, private, municipal or public corporation, limited liability company, company, association, joint stock association, trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative.

24003.
 All commercial air operators shall maintain in force at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) of liability insurance for personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage resulting from the operation of an aircraft pursuant to this article, with additional liability coverage of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each passenger for any aircraft covered by this article.

24004.
 (a) All commercial air operators shall comply with any requirement of a city, county, or city and county that the person obtain a business license as a condition for operating in that city, county, or city and county.
(b) All commercial air operators shall also provide the city, county, or city and county a currently effective certificate of insurance evidencing insurance coverage as required in Section 24003. A new certificate of insurance shall be provided to the city, county, or city and county at least annually or whenever there is a material change in insurance coverage. A city, county, or city and county shall give reasonable notice of this requirement with any business license renewal notification. A city, county, or city and county may charge a reasonable fee for purposes of carrying out the provisions of this subdivision.

24005.
 (a) The protection against liability shall be continued in effect so long as the commercial air operator continues to offer services for compensation. The policy of insurance or surety bond shall not be cancelable on less than 30 days’ written notice to the city, county, or city and county, except in the event of cessation of operations as a commercial air operator.

24006.
 Any commercial air operator who knowingly refuses or fails to procure protection against liability, as required by Section 24003, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

24007.
 Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 24004, a city, county, or city and county shall have the authority to accept policies of insurance written by nonadmitted insurers subject to Section 1763 of the Insurance Code of this state, provided that the policies of insurance shall meet the rules and regulations adopted therefor by the applicable jurisdiction.

24008.
 Following an administrative hearing, a city, county, or city and county may impose a penalty of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon any commercial air operator who fails to file the evidence of liability protection required by this article.

24009.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any person owning, controlling, operating, renting, managing, furnishing, or otherwise providing transportation by hot air balloon for hire shall maintain in force at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) of liability insurance for personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage resulting from the operation of a balloon carrying up to 10 passengers, with additional liability coverage of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for each passenger for any balloon carrying more than 10 passengers. A notice shall be provided to every passenger that identifies both the insurer providing a policy of liability insurance to the person providing that transportation and the amount of insurance coverage provided by that policy.
(b) Any person owning, controlling, operating, renting, managing, furnishing, or otherwise providing transportation by hot air balloon for hire shall comply with any requirement of a city, county, or city and county that the person obtain a business license as a condition for operating in that city, county, or city and county. Whenever a city, county, or city and county requires a business license, any person owning, controlling, operating, renting, managing, furnishing, or otherwise providing transportation by hot air balloon for hire shall prominently display the license only within the city or county of the person’s primary place of business frequented by customers and potential customers. Whenever a city, county, or city and county requires a business license, the person shall provide to the city, county, or city and county a currently effective certificate of insurance evidencing insurance coverage as required in subdivision (a). A new certificate of insurance shall be provided to the city, county, or city and county, at least annually or whenever there is a material change in insurance coverage. A city, county, or city and county shall give reasonable notice of this requirement with any business license renewal notification. Every business license issued by a city, county, or city and county to any person owning, controlling, operating, renting, managing, furnishing, or otherwise providing transportation by hot air balloon for hire and every currently effective certificate of insurance evidencing insurance coverage shall be maintained as a public record. The city, county, or city and county may charge a reasonable fee for purposes of carrying out the provisions of this subdivision.
(c) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by failing to maintain insurance in force as required by subdivision (a) is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who violates subdivision (b) by failing to obtain and maintain a current valid city, county, or city and county business license issued by the local government jurisdiction where the person’s primary place of business is located, in accordance with subdivision (b), is guilty of a misdemeanor.

SEC. 17.

 Section 24243 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

24243.
 This part does not apply to:
(a) Any aircraft owned and operated by or leased to and subject to the sole control of the United States or any civil or military agency of the United States or of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any territory or possession of the United States.
(b) Any aircraft owned and operated by or leased to and subject to the sole control of this or any other state or agency thereof or any political subdivision or municipality of this or any other state.
(c) Any aircraft owned and operated by or leased to and subject to the sole control of any foreign country or any civil or military agency thereof or any political subdivision or municipality thereof.
(d) Any commercial air operator subject to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 5500) of Division 2. Part 3 (commencing with Section 24000).
(e) Any aircraft operated by an operator subject to the provisions of Article 2 (commencing with Section 11931) of Chapter 5 of Division 6 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
(f) Any person who maintains in effect an insurance policy meeting the requirements of Section 24350 and who has filed with the department a certificate of insurance issued by the insurance company which that issued such policy; provided, however, the policy, provided that such the person shall, in accordance with the provisions of Section 24300, report each aircraft accident in which he the person is involved as operator or owner of aircraft.

SEC. 18.

 The Legislative Counsel shall revise the list required by Section 10242.5 of the Government Code by deleting the following Public Utilities Commission report from the list:
Description: Report on the number of investigators conducting enforcement of household goods carriers, past and current enforcement efforts, planned future enforcement efforts, and options to provide adequate funding for enforcement activities.
Authority: Item 8660-001-0412 of Section 2 of the Budget Act of 2016
Date Due: By January 1, 2017
Recipient: Legislature