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AB-1409 California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund: Digital Divide Grant Program: homework gap projects.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 04/11/19 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB1409:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1409


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 884 Sections 270 and 280.5 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications. telecommunications, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1409, as amended, Chau. California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund: Digital Divide Grant Program: homework gap projects.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer a program to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations. Existing law requires that all revenues collected by telephone corporations in rates authorized by the commission to fund this program be deposited in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund. Existing law provides that moneys in the fund are held in trust and may be expended only upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or upon supplemental appropriation and requires that all moneys appropriated to the commission from the fund be used exclusively for the program.
Existing law requires 15% of the revenues from fees collected from the lease of state-owned real property to the providers of wireless telecommunication services, with certain exceptions, and certain penalties on holders of state franchises for the provision of video service, to be deposited into the Digital Divide Account, which is established in the fund, to be used only for digital divide pilot projects, and defines for this purpose “digital divide projects” to mean community technology programs, as defined, involved in certain activities. Existing law establishes the Digital Divide Grant Program to award grants to certain community-based nonprofit organizations for the purpose of funding community technology programs.
This bill would expressly require the commission to include as eligible under the fund both the use of excess capacity of Department of General Services to timely deposit those revenues into the account, and would continuously appropriate the moneys in the account to the commission for purposes of the Digital Divide Grant Program. The bill would require the commission to implement the grant program upon the commission projecting an account balance of $500,000 in the following calendar year. The bill would authorize those grants to also be awarded to fund the use of broadband services funded through the fund, and requests for funds that support fund for homework gap projects and to fund the installation of broadband, broadband service, equipment, administrative implementation, and maintenance, for projects that maintenance for homework gap projects. The bill would define “homework gap projects” as projects that provide elementary and high school pupils with after school access to broadband, as specified. The bill would authorize digital divide pilot project grants for community technology programs involved in activities that include homework gap projects to support the goal of closing the digital divide.
Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 270 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

270.
 (a) The following funds are hereby created in the State Treasury:
(1) The California High-Cost Fund-A Administrative Committee Fund.
(2) The California High-Cost Fund-B Administrative Committee Fund.
(3) The Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Trust Administrative Committee Fund.
(4) The Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program Administrative Committee Fund.
(5) The California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund.
(6) The California Advanced Services Fund.
(b) Moneys in the funds are held in trust and may only be expended pursuant to this chapter and upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or upon supplemental appropriation. appropriation, except as provided in Section 280.5.
(c) The commission, in administering the universal service program funds listed in subdivision (a), and in administering state participation in federal universal service programs, is encouraged, consistent with the state’s universal service policies and goals, to maximize the amount of federal funding to California participants in the federal programs.
(d) Moneys in each fund shall not be appropriated, or in any other manner transferred or otherwise diverted, to any other fund or entity, except as provided in Sections 19325 and 19325.1 of the Education Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 280.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

280.5.
 (a) Of the revenues from fees collected pursuant to Section 14666.8 of the Government Code after the operative date of this section, except for revenues from fees from a lease agreement for access to Department of Transportation property or a lease agreement existing prior to before the operative date of the section, 15 percent shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, available for the purpose of addressing the state’s digital divide.
(b) Revenues described in (1) The Department of General Services shall timely deposit the revenues made available pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be deposited in into the Digital Divide Account, which is hereby established in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund established pursuant to Section 270, to 270.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code and Section 270 of this code, the moneys in Digital Divide Account are hereby continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal years to the commission for purposes of the Digital Divide Grant Program.
(3) Moneys in the Digital Divide Account shall be used only for digital divide pilot projects. Not
(4) Not more than 5 percent of the revenues described in subdivision (a) may be used to pay the costs incurred in connection with the administration of digital divide pilot projects by the commission.
(c) (1) The Digital Divide Grant Program is hereby established subject to the availability of funding pursuant to this section. The commission may not shall implement the grant program until upon the commission projects projecting that at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) will be available in the Digital Divide Account during the calendar year following that implementation, based on money collected pursuant to Section 14666.8 of the Government Code.
(2) The commission shall provide grants pursuant to this subdivision on a competitive basis basis, subject to criteria to be established by the commission and in a way that disburses the funds widely, including to both urban and rural areas. Grants shall
(3) Grants may be awarded to community-based nonprofit organizations that are exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for the purpose of funding community technology programs.
(4) To support universal service to schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, grants may be awarded to fund the use of broadband services funded, in whole or in part, through the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund for homework gap projects.
(5) To support universal service to schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, whose broadband services are funded, in whole or in part, through the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund, grants may be awarded to fund the installation of broadband, broadband service, equipment, administrative implementation, and maintenance for homework gap projects.

(3)

(6) Recipients of grants pursuant to this subdivision shall report to the commission annually on the effectiveness of the grant program.
(7) Participation in the federal Universal Service E-rate program administered by the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company or in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund program shall not affect the eligibility of an entity to receive a grant pursuant to this subdivision.
(d) For purposes of this section, “community the following definitions apply:
(1) “Community technology programs” means a program that is engaged in diffusing technology in local communities and training local communities in the use of technology, especially local communities that otherwise would have no access or limited access to the Internet internet and other technologies.

(e)For purposes of this section, “digital

(2) “Digital divide pilot projects” means community technology programs involved in activities that include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1)

(A) Providing open access to and opportunities for training in technology.

(2)

(B) Developing content relevant to the interests and wants of the local community.

(3)

(C) Preparing youth for opportunities in the new economy through multimedia training and skills.

(4)

(D) Harnessing technology for e-government e-Government services.
(E) To support the goal of closing the digital divide, homework gap projects.
(3) “Grants” means those grants awarded pursuant to the Digital Divide Grant Program.
(4) “Homework gap project” means a project that provides pupils in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, with after school access to broadband, such as Wi-Fi enabled schoolbuses or school or library Wi-Fi hot spot lending.

SECTION 1.Section 884 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
884.

(a)It is the intent of the Legislature that any program administered by the commission that addresses the inequality of access to high-speed broadband services by providing those services to schools and libraries at a discounted price, provide comparable discounts to a nonprofit community technology program.

(b)Notwithstanding any other law or existing program of the commission, but consistent with the purposes for which those funds were appropriated from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund in Item 8660-001-0493 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2003 (Chapter 157 of the Statutes of 2003), and reappropriated in Item 8660-491 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2006 (Chapter 47 of the Statutes of 2006), the commission may expend up to two million dollars ($2,000,000) of the unencumbered amount of those funds for the nonrecurring installation costs for high-speed broadband services for community organizations that are eligible for discounted rates pursuant to Section 280.

(c)To support universal service to schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, the commission shall include as eligible under the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund the use of excess capacity of broadband services funded through the fund for homework gap projects.

(d)To support universal service to schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, the commission shall include as eligible under the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund requests for funds that support the installation of broadband, broadband service, equipment, administrative implementation, and maintenance for homework gap projects.

(e)For the purpose of this section:

(1)“High-speed broadband services” means a system for the digital transmission of information over the internet at a speed of at least 384 kilobits per second.

(2)“Homework gap project” means a project that provides pupils in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, with after school access to broadband, such as Wi-Fi enabled schoolbuses or school or library Wi-Fi hot spot lending.

(3)“Nonprofit community technology program” means a community-based nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and engages in diffusing technology into local communities and training local communities that have no access to, or have limited access to, the internet and advanced telecommunications technologies.