Maine LD 879: An Act To Ensure High-quality Telecommunications Services for Maine Consumers and Businesses

LD 879 (subjects: TELECOMMUNICATIONS , REGULATIONS )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=879&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan: (D – District 107) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook

3 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
3/12/2015 House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on ENERGY, UTILITIES AND TECHNOLOGY.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
3/12/2015 Senate On motion by Senator Woodsome of York, REFERRED to the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, in concurrence.
6/30/2015 Senate CARRIED OVER to any Special or Regular Session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992. in concurrence
6/30/2015 House Carried over to any special and/or regular session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992.
6/30/2015 Senate CARRIED OVER to any Special or Regular Session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992. , in concurrence.
7/21/2015 Senate CARRIED OVER to any Special or Regular Session of the 127th Legislature pursuant to Joint Order HP 992.
3/1/2016 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

Bill Text

.

An Act To Ensure High-quality Telecommunications Services for Maine Consumers and Businesses

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA 316 is enacted to read:

316. Elimination of alternative form of regulation of telephone utilities

1. Elimination. The commission may eliminate, after public hearings and other processes the commission determines appropriate, an alternative form of regulation of a telephone utility prior to the expiration of the alternative form of regulation’s period. In deciding whether to eliminate an alternative form of regulation under this section, the commission shall consider the quality, safety and reliability of service provided by the telephone utility during the period that the alternative form of regulation has been in effect.
2. Effect of elimination. If the commission orders the elimination of an alternative form of regulation under subsection 1, the telephone utility shall initiate a rate proceeding pursuant to this chapter within 3 months of the entry of the order. Between the date of entry of the order eliminating an alternative form of regulation and the conclusion of the new rate proceeding, the telephone utility’s rate schedules are considered temporary rate schedules subject to partial or full refunds if the commission in its final order approves rates less than the rates in the temporary rate schedules.

Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA 7222, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, is amended to read:

7222. Revenue requirements of service providers

The initial rates for provider of last resort service are those rates in effect for basic local exchange service for each incumbent local exchange carrier in the service area of that carrier as of January 1, 2012 2015.

Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA 7225, sub- 2 and 3, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, are amended to read:

2. Commission review of service quality. The commission by rule shall establish provider of last resort service quality standards that require automatic penalties, rebates or rate reductions for each service quality standard that the service provider does not meet. A service provider may petition the commission to reverse, in whole or in part, an automatic penalty, rebate or rate reduction under this subsection. The commission may impose reverse, in whole or in part, penalties or require a service provider to provide , rebates or rate reductions if the commission finds, after investigation, that a service provider has failed demonstrated that the service provider’s failure to meet service quality standards was due to circumstances beyond the service provider’s control.
3. Rules. Rules adopted under this section may establish appropriate penalties, rebates or rate reductions that may be applied if the commission finds, after investigation, that a service provider has failed to meet service quality standards. Rules adopted under this section are major substantive routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA 7226, sub- 2, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, is repealed.

Sec. 5. 35-A MRSA 7231, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, is amended to read:

7231. Laws that apply only to service providers

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions listed in subsections 1 to and 4 do not apply to a telephone utility except service providers with respect to the provision of provider of last resort service:

1. Regulation and control of public utilities. The following sections of chapter 7:

A. Section 703 relating to discounts and discrimination;
B. Section 704 relating to termination of utility services;
C. Section 705 relating to utility deposits;
D. Section 706 relating to tenant liability for landlord utility bills;
E. Section 713 relating to unregulated business ventures; and
F. Section 715 relating to rules of the commission; and

2. Sales, leases and mortgages of property. The following sections of chapter 11:

A. Section 1101 relating to authorization; and
B. Section 1103 relating to transfer of utility stock;

3. Procedure. The following sections of chapter 13:

A. Section 1302 relating to complaints; and
B. Section 1303 relating to investigations; and

4. Telephone lines. The following sections of chapter 79:

A. Section 7904 relating to purchasing and taking land for public use.

Sec. 6. 35-A MRSA 7232, first , as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, is amended to read:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions listed in subsections 1 to 5 4 do not apply to a telephone utility except service providers with respect to the provision of provider of last resort service and local exchange carriers with respect to federal interconnection rights and obligations:

Sec. 7. 35-A MRSA 7232, sub- 3 and 4, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, are amended to read:

3. Authorization of sales, leases and mortgages of property. The following sections of chapter 11:

A. Section 1102 relating to unnecessary property; and
B. Section 1104 relating to abandonment of property or service; and

4. Procedure. The following sections of chapter 13:

A. Section 1306 relating to commission decisions;
B. Section 1307 relating to enforcement of decisions;
C. Section 1308 relating to reparation or adjustments;
D. Section 1309 relating to adjustment of excessive rates; and
E. Section 1323 relating to exhausting of rights before the commission ; and .

Sec. 8. 35-A MRSA 7232, sub- 5, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, is repealed.

Sec. 9. 35-A MRSA 7234, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 623, Pt. A, 18, is repealed.

summary

This bill makes several changes in the regulation of telecommunications utilities. It:

1. Permits the Public Utilities Commission to eliminate alternative forms of regulation if the commission determines that service deficiencies are occurring;

2. Requires the Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules that provide for automatic penalties if service quality standards are not met;

3. Repeals a provision regarding the reporting of unscheduled outages to the Public Utilities Commission;

4. Reduces the number of exemptions a telephone utility has from customer service and regulatory requirements; and

5. Removes the exemption from regulation for telecommunications services provided using interconnected voice over Internet protocol technology.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 879 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
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