Existing law, the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, establishes a program of cooperative federalism for the regulation of telecommunications to attain the goal of local competition, while implementing specific, predictable, and sufficient federal and state mechanisms to preserve and advance universal service, consistent with certain universal service principles. The universal service principles include the principle that consumers in all regions of the nation, including low-income consumers and those in rural, insular, and high-cost areas, should have access to telecommunications and information services, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, that are reasonably comparable to those services provided in urban areas and that are available at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates charged for similar services in urban areas. Existing law authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to supervise and regulate every public utility in the state, including telephone corporations, and to fix just and reasonable rates and charges for the public utility. Existing law establishes the state's 6 universal service funds in the State Treasury, including the California High-Cost Fund-A Administrative Committee Fund and the California High-Cost Fund-B Administrative Committee Fund, and provides that moneys in each of the state's universal service funds are the proceeds of rates and are held in trust for the benefit of ratepayers and to compensate telephone corporations for their costs of providing universal service. Moneys in the funds may only be expended to accomplish specified telecommunications universal service programs, upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or upon supplemental appropriation. Existing law, until January 1, 2015, requires the commission to develop, implement, and maintain a suitable program to establish a fair and equitable local rate structure aided by universal service rate support to small independent telephone corporations that serve rural areas and are subject to rate-of-return regulation by the commission (the CHCF-A program) . Existing law, until January 1, 2015, requires the commission to develop, implement, and maintain a suitable, competitively neutral, and broad-based program to establish a fair and equitable local rate support structure aided by universal service rate support to telephone corporations serving areas where the cost of providing services exceeds rates charged by providers, as determined by the commission (the CHCF-B program) . This bill would delete the provision stating that moneys in each of the state's universal service funds are the proceeds of rates and are held in trust for the benefit of ratepayers and to compensate telephone corporations for their cost of providing universal service and would instead provide that moneys in the funds are held in trust. The bill would encourage the commission, in administering the universal service program funds, and in administering state participation in federal universal service programs, to maximize the amount of federal funding to California participants in the federal programs. The bill would extend the repeal date of the CHCF-A program and CHCF-B program requirements until January 1, 2019. The bill would renumber the statute establishing the programmatic requirements for the CHCF-B program so that it is located in the code adjacent to the statute establishing the California High-Cost Fund-B Administrative Committee Fund, would delete outdated language, and would make other conforming changes. Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or an order or direction of the commission is a crime. Because the CHCF-A program and CHCF-B program, that are extended under the provisions of this bill, are within the act and a decision or order of the commission implements the programs' requirements, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 520, Statutes of 2014.
Approved by the Governor.
Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 11 a.m.
Assembly amendments concurred in. (Ayes 36. Noes 0. Page 4879.) Ordered to engrossing and enrolling.
In Senate. Concurrence in Assembly amendments pending.
Read third time. Urgency clause adopted. Passed. (Ayes 78. Noes 0. Page 6413.) Ordered to the Senate.
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 17. Noes 0.) (August 14).
Action rescinded whereby the bill was reported from committee on June 25, 2014.
From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 14. Noes 0.) (June 23).
From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 14. Noes 0.) (June 23). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
In Assembly. Read first time. Held at Desk.
Read third time. Urgency clause adopted. Passed. (Ayes 37. Noes 0. Page 3664.) Ordered to the Assembly.
Read second time and amended. Ordered to third reading.
From committee: Do pass as amended. (Ayes 7. Noes 0. Page 3715.) (May 23).
Set for hearing May 23.
Placed on APPR. suspense file.
Set for hearing April 7.
From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 9. Noes 0. Page 3079.) (April 1). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
Set for hearing April 1.
Read first time.
From printer. May be acted upon on or after March 24.
Introduced. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|02/21/14 - Introduced|
|05/27/14 - Amended Senate|
|07/01/14 - Amended Assembly|
|08/28/14 - Enrolled|
|09/20/14 - Chaptered|
|No related documents.|
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