Senate Study Bill 1128 - Introduced SENATE/HOUSE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE/UTILITIES DIVISION BILL) A BILL FOR An Act relating to matters under the purview of the utilities 1 division of the department of commerce. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ DIVISION I 1 ADMINISTRATION 2 Section 1. Section 476.2, Code 2021, is amended by adding 3 the following new subsection: 4 NEW SUBSECTION . 4A. The board shall have the authority 5 to employ or appoint an independent administrative law judge 6 to preside over any hearing or proceeding before the board. 7 Sections 10A.801 and 17A.11 do not apply to the employment or 8 appointment of an administrative law judge pursuant to this 9 subsection. 10 Sec. 2. Section 476.10, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code 11 2021, is amended to read as follows: 12 b. The board shall ascertain the total of the division’s 13 expenses incurred during each fiscal year in the performance 14 of its duties under law. The board shall add to the total of 15 the division’s expenses the certified expenses of the consumer 16 advocate as provided under section 475A.6 . The board shall 17 deduct all amounts charged directly to any person from the 18 total expenses of the board and the consumer advocate. The 19 board may assess the amount remaining after the deduction 20 to all persons providing service over which the board has 21 jurisdiction in proportion to the respective gross operating 22 revenues of such persons from intrastate operations during the 23 last calendar year over which the board has jurisdiction. For 24 purposes of determining gross operating revenues under this 25 section , the board shall not include gross receipts received 26 by a cooperative corporation or association for wholesale 27 transactions with members of the cooperative corporation 28 or association, provided that the members are subject to 29 assessment by the board based upon the members’ gross operating 30 revenues, or provided that such a member is an association 31 whose members are subject to assessment by the board based 32 upon the members’ gross operating revenues. If any portion 33 of the remainder can be identified with a specific type of 34 utility service, the board shall assess those expenses only 35 -1- LSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn 1/ 6
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ to the entities providing that type of service over which the 1 board has jurisdiction. The board may make the remainder 2 assessments under this paragraph on a quarterly basis to some 3 or all persons providing service over which the board has 4 jurisdiction , based upon estimates of the expenditures for 5 the fiscal year for the utilities division and the consumer 6 advocate. Not more than ninety days following the close of the 7 fiscal year, the utilities division shall conform the amount 8 of the prior fiscal year’s assessments to the requirements of 9 this paragraph. For gas and electric public utilities exempted 10 from rate regulation pursuant to this chapter , the remainder 11 assessments under this paragraph shall be computed at one-half 12 the rate used in computing the assessment for other persons. 13 DIVISION II 14 PIPELINE 15 Sec. 3. Section 479.31, subsection 1, Code 2021, is amended 16 to read as follows: 17 1. A person who violates this chapter or any rule or 18 order issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a 19 civil penalty levied by the board not to exceed one hundred 20 thousand dollars for each violation in accordance with 49 21 C.F.R. §190.223 . Each day that the violation continues shall 22 constitute a separate offense. However, the maximum civil 23 penalty shall not exceed one million dollars for any related 24 series of violations. Civil penalties collected pursuant to 25 this section shall be forwarded by the chief operating officer 26 of the board to the treasurer of state to be credited to the 27 general fund of the state and appropriated to the division of 28 community action agencies of the department of human rights for 29 purposes of the low income home energy assistance program and 30 the weatherization assistance program. 31 Sec. 4. Section 479A.7, Code 2021, is amended to read as 32 follows: 33 479A.7 Annual inspection fee. 34 A The board may, in accordance with section 476.10, charge 35 -2- LSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn 2/ 6
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ a pipeline company shall pay with an annual inspection fee of 1 fifty cents per mile of pipeline or fraction thereof for each 2 inch of diameter of the pipeline located in this state that 3 is directly attributable to the costs of conducting annual 4 inspections pursuant to this chapter . The annual inspection 5 fee shall be paid for the calendar year in advance between 6 January 1 and February 1 of each year. 7 DIVISION III 8 TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES 9 Sec. 5. Section 34A.2, subsections 8 and 14, Code 2021, are 10 amended to read as follows: 11 8. “Competitive local exchange service provider” means the 12 same as defined in section 476.96 any person, including a 13 municipal utility, that provides local exchange services, other 14 than a local exchange carrier or a non-rate-regulated wireline 15 provider of local exchange services . 16 14. “Local exchange carrier” means the same as defined in 17 section 476.96 any person that was the incumbent and historical 18 rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange services 19 or any successor to such person that provides local exchange 20 services . 21 Sec. 6. Section 423.3, subsection 47A, Code 2021, is amended 22 to read as follows: 23 47A. a. The sales price from the sale or rental of central 24 office equipment or transmission equipment primarily used 25 by local exchange carriers and competitive local exchange 26 service providers as defined in section 476.96 , Code 2017 ; 27 by franchised cable television operators, mutual companies, 28 municipal utilities, cooperatives, and companies furnishing 29 communications services that are not subject to rate regulation 30 as provided in chapter 476 ; by long distance companies as 31 defined in section 477.10 ; or for a commercial mobile radio 32 service as defined in 47 C.F.R. §20.3 in the furnishing of 33 telecommunications services on a commercial basis. 34 b. For the purposes of this subsection , “central : 35 -3- LSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn 3/ 6
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ (1) “Central office equipment” means equipment utilized 1 in the initiating, processing, amplifying, switching, or 2 monitoring of telecommunications services. “Central office 3 equipment” also includes ancillary equipment and apparatus 4 which support, regulate, control, repair, test, or enable such 5 equipment to accomplish its function. 6 (2) “Competitive local exchange service provider” means 7 any person, including a municipal utility, that provides 8 local exchange services, other than a local exchange carrier 9 or a non-rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange 10 services. 11 (3) “Local exchange carrier” means any person that was the 12 incumbent and historical rate-regulated wireline provider of 13 local exchange services or any successor to such person that 14 provides local exchange services. 15 (4) “Transmission equipment” means equipment utilized 16 in the process of sending information from one location to 17 another location. “Central office equipment” and “transmission 18 “Transmission equipment” also include includes ancillary 19 equipment and apparatus which support, regulate, control, 20 repair, test, or enable such equipment to accomplish its 21 function. 22 Sec. 7. Section 477C.7, subsection 2, Code 2021, is amended 23 to read as follows: 24 2. The entities subject to assessment shall remit the 25 assessed amounts quarterly , as determined by the board, to a 26 special fund, as defined under section 8.2, subsection 9 . The 27 moneys in the fund are appropriated solely to plan, establish, 28 administer, and promote the relay service and equipment 29 distribution programs. 30 EXPLANATION 31 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 32 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 33 This bill relates to matters under the purview of the 34 utilities division of the department of commerce. 35 -4- LSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn 4/ 6
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ The bill provides the Iowa utilities board with authority 1 to employ or appoint an independent administrative law judge 2 to preside over any hearing or proceeding before the board. 3 Certain provisions applicable to the employment or appointment 4 of administrative law judges by state agencies do not apply to 5 appointments by the board. 6 Current law requires the board to deduct all amounts charged 7 directly to any person subject to the jurisdiction of the 8 board for providing utility services from the total annual 9 expenses of the board and the consumer advocate. The board may 10 assess the remaining amount on a quarterly basis to all persons 11 providing service over which the board has jurisdiction in 12 proportion to their respective gross operating revenues. The 13 bill strikes the requirement that these assessments be made on 14 a quarterly basis and allows the board to make the assessments 15 to some or all persons providing service over which the board 16 has jurisdiction. 17 Current law allows the board to impose a civil penalty of up 18 to $100,000 for each violation of Code chapter 479, relating 19 to pipelines and underground gas storage, or any rule or order 20 issued pursuant to the Code chapter, provided that the maximum 21 penalty does not exceed $1 million for any related series of 22 violations. The bill removes these maximum amounts and instead 23 provides that a civil penalty levied by the board shall be in 24 accordance with specified federal law. 25 Current law requires pipeline companies operating pipelines 26 or underground gas storage under Code chapter 479A to pay the 27 board an annual inspection fee of 50 cents for each mile of 28 pipeline located in Iowa. The bill removes this set fee and 29 instead allows the board to charge pipeline companies with 30 annual inspection fees that are directly attributable to the 31 costs of conducting inspections. 32 The bill removes cross references in Code section 34A.2 33 to repealed Code section 476.96, which included definitions 34 for “competitive local exchange service provider” and “local 35 -5- LSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn 5/ 6
S.F. _____ H.F. _____ exchange carrier”, and provides new definitions for such terms. 1 “Competitive local exchange service provider” is defined as 2 any person, including a municipal utility, that provides 3 local exchange services, other than a local exchange carrier 4 or a non-rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange 5 services. “Local exchange carrier” is defined as any person 6 that was the incumbent and historical rate-regulated wireline 7 provider of local exchange services or any successor to such 8 person that provides local exchange services. 9 The bill amends Code section 423.3, subsection 47A, to 10 modify the definitions of “central office equipment” and 11 “transmission equipment”. The bill provides “central office 12 equipment” includes ancillary equipment and apparatus which 13 enable central office equipment to accomplish its function. 14 Additionally, the bill provides “transmission equipment”, 15 including ancillary equipment and apparatus which enable 16 transmission equipment, to accomplish its function. 17 The bill defines “competitive local exchange service 18 provider”, for purposes of Code section 423.3, subsection 47A, 19 as any person, including a municipal utility, that provides 20 local exchange services, other than a local exchange carrier 21 or a non-rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange 22 services. The bill defines “local exchange carrier”, for 23 purposes of Code section 423.3, subsection 47A, as any person 24 that was the incumbent and historical rate-regulated wireline 25 provider of local exchange services or any successor to such 26 person that provides local exchange services. 27 Current law requires wireless carriers and wireline local 28 exchange carriers providing telecommunications service in the 29 state to remit the amounts assessed to fund the dual party 30 relay service to a special fund on a quarterly basis. The bill 31 provides that these remittances will be made as determined by 32 the board. 33 -6- LSB 1351XD (3) 89 jda/rn 6/ 6