Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1257 Small independent telephone corporations: ratemaking.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California’s small independent telephone corporations, serving the most rural and hard to reach areas of the state, play an important role in ensuring all Californians have access to telecommunications services.
(2) These small independent telephone corporations help bridge the digital divide, thereby facilitating access to economic prosperity, health care, education, and the world for the rural communities they serve.
(3) California’s small independent telephone corporations have ensured connectivity for their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Public Utilities Commission work diligently to streamline the process for small independent telephone corporations’ rate cases, making the process less cumbersome and less time consuming, thereby decreasing the regulatory burden on these companies and allowing them to continue serving their communities and territories without interruption.

SEC. 2.

 Section 275.7 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this section, “small independent telephone corporation” has the same meaning as defined in Section 275.6.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission adopt procedures to increase the efficiency of its ratemaking processes for small independent telephone corporations and to allow, wherever reasonably possible, a small independent telephone corporation to request adjustments to its revenue requirement or rate design through either an advice letter or an application process.
(c) If a rate case is submitted by application by a small independent telephone corporation, the commission shall require the parties to participate in at least one day of facilitated mediation with a neutral administrative law judge pursuant to the commission’s alternative dispute resolution program. The mediation shall take place at least 30 days before the commencement of hearings and mediation shall be included as an event in the scoping memo for the proceeding.
(d) Before filing any motion in a small independent telephone corporation’s rate case, the moving party shall meet and confer in a good faith effort with all other parties to informally resolve the subject of the motion. All motions shall include facts demonstrating the moving party’s good faith effort to meet and confer before filing the motion.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.