House File 355 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to matters under the purview of the utilities
2division of the department of commerce, and making penalties
1   Section 1.  Section 34A.2, subsections 8 and 14, Code 2019,
2are amended to read as follows:
   38.  “Competitive local exchange service provider” means the
4same as defined in section 476.96
 any person, including a
5municipal utility, that provides local exchange services, other
6than a local exchange carrier or a non-rate-regulated wireline
7provider of local exchange services
   814.  “Local exchange carrier” means the same as defined in
9section 476.96
 any person that was the incumbent and historical
10rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange services
11or any successor to such person that provides local exchange
13   Sec. 2.  Section 423.3, subsection 47A, Code 2019, is amended
14to read as follows:
   1547A.  a.  The sales price from the sale or rental of central
16office equipment or transmission equipment primarily used by
17local exchange carriers and competitive local exchange service
18providers as defined in section 476.96; by franchised cable
19television operators, mutual companies, municipal utilities,
20cooperatives, and companies furnishing communications services
21that are not subject to rate regulation as provided in chapter
22476; by long distance companies as defined in section 477.10;
23or for a commercial mobile radio service as defined in 47
24C.F.R. §20.3 in the furnishing of telecommunications services
25on a commercial basis.
   26b.  For the purposes of this subsection,
   27(1)  “central office equipment” means equipment utilized
28in the initiating, processing, amplifying, switching, or
29monitoring of telecommunications services. “Central office
also includes ancillary equipment and apparatus
31which support, regulate, control, repair, test, or enable such
32equipment to accomplish its function.

   33(2)  “Competitive local exchange service provider” means
34any person, including a municipal utility, that provides
35local exchange services, other than a local exchange carrier
-1-1or a non-rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange
   3(3)  “Local exchange carrier” means any person that was the
4incumbent and historical rate-regulated wireline provider of
5local exchange services or any successor to such person that
6provides local exchange services.
   7(4)  “Transmission equipment” means equipment utilized
8in the process of sending information from one location to
9another location. “Central office equipment” and “transmission
 “Transmission equipment”
also include includes ancillary
11equipment and apparatus which support, regulate, control,
12repair, test, or enable such equipment to accomplish its
14   Sec. 3.  Section 476.2, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
15following new subsection:
16   NEW SUBSECTION.  4A.  The board shall have the authority
17to employ or appoint an independent administrative law judge
18to preside over any hearing or proceeding before the board.
19Sections 10A.801 and 17A.11 do not apply to the employment or
20appointment of an administrative law judge pursuant to this
22   Sec. 4.  Section 476.10, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code
232019, is amended to read as follows:
   24b.  The board shall ascertain the total of the division’s
25expenses incurred during each fiscal year in the performance
26of its duties under law. The board shall add to the total of
27the division’s expenses the certified expenses of the consumer
28advocate as provided under section 475A.6. The board shall
29deduct all amounts charged directly to any person from the
30total expenses of the board and the consumer advocate. The
31board may assess an estimate of the amount remaining after
32the estimated deduction for direct charges to some or all
33persons providing service over which the board has jurisdiction
34in proportion to the respective gross operating revenues
35of such persons from intrastate operations during the last
-2-1calendar year over which the board has jurisdiction. For
2purposes of determining gross operating revenues under this
3section, the board shall not include gross receipts received
4by a cooperative corporation or association for wholesale
5transactions with members of the cooperative corporation
6or association, provided that the members are subject to
7assessment by the board based upon the members’ gross operating
8revenues, or provided that such a member is an association
9whose members are subject to assessment by the board based upon
10the members’ gross operating revenues. If any portion of the
11remainder can be identified with a specific type of utility
12service, the board shall assess an estimate of those expenses
13only to the entities providing that type of service over which
14the board has jurisdiction. The board may make the remainder
15assessments under this paragraph on a quarterly basis, based
16upon estimates of the expenditures for the fiscal year for
17the utilities division and the consumer advocate. Not more
18than ninety days following the close of the fiscal year, the
19utilities division shall conform the amount of the prior fiscal
20year’s assessments to the requirements of this paragraph. For
21gas and electric public utilities exempted from rate regulation
22pursuant to this chapter, the remainder assessments under
23this paragraph shall be computed at one-half the rate used in
24computing the assessment for other persons.
25   Sec. 5.  Section 476.55, subsection 2, paragraph a,
26unnumbered paragraph 1, Code 2019, is amended to read as
   28Notwithstanding section 476.1D, the board may receive
29a complaint from a local exchange carrier that another
30local exchange carrier has engaged in an activity that is
31inconsistent with antitrust laws and the policies which
32underlie them. For purposes of this subsection, “local exchange
means the same as defined in section 476.96 any person
34that was the incumbent and historical rate-regulated wireline
35provider of local exchange services or any successor to such
-3-1person that provides local exchange services,
and includes a
2city utility authorized pursuant to section 388.2 to provide
3local exchange services. If, after notice and opportunity for
4hearing, the board finds that a local exchange carrier has
5engaged in an activity that is inconsistent with antitrust laws
6and the policies which underlie them, the board may order any
7of the following:
8   Sec. 6.  Section 477C.7, subsection 2, Code 2019, is amended
9to read as follows:
   102.  The entities subject to assessment shall remit the
11assessed amounts quarterly to a special fund, as defined under
12section 8.2, subsection 9, at intervals as directed by the
. The moneys in the fund are appropriated solely to
14plan, establish, administer, and promote the relay service and
15equipment distribution programs.
16   Sec. 7.  Section 479.31, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended
17to read as follows:
   181.  A person who violates this chapter or any rule or
19order issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a
20civil penalty levied by the board not to exceed one hundred
21thousand dollars for each violation
 in accordance with 49
22C.F.R. §190.223
. Each day that the violation continues shall
23constitute a separate offense. However, the maximum civil
24penalty shall not exceed one million dollars for any related
25series of violations.
Civil penalties collected pursuant to
26this section shall be forwarded by the chief operating officer
27of the board to the treasurer of state to be credited to the
28general fund of the state and appropriated to the division of
29community action agencies of the department of human rights for
30purposes of the low income home energy assistance program and
31the weatherization assistance program.
32   Sec. 8.  Section 479A.7, Code 2019, is amended to read as
   34479A.7  Annual inspection fee.
   35A The board may, in accordance with section 476.10, charge
pipeline company shall pay with an annual inspection fee of
2fifty cents per mile of pipeline or fraction thereof for each
3inch of diameter of the pipeline located in this state. The
4annual inspection fee shall be paid for the calendar year in
5advance between January 1 and February 1 of each year
6is directly attributable to the costs of conducting annual
7inspections pursuant to this chapter
9The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
10the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   11This bill modifies provisions relating to the utilities
12division of the department of commerce.
   13The bill removes cross references throughout the Code to
14repealed Code section 476.96, which included definitions for
15“competitive local exchange service provider” and “local
16exchange carrier”, and provides new definitions for such terms
17in those Code sections. “Competitive local exchange service
18provider” is defined as any person, including a municipal
19utility, that provides local exchange services, other than
20a local exchange carrier or a non-rate-regulated wireline
21provider of local exchange services. “Local exchange carrier”
22is defined as any person that was the incumbent and historical
23rate-regulated wireline provider of local exchange services
24or any successor to such person that provides local exchange
   26The bill provides the Iowa utilities board with authority
27to employ or appoint an independent administrative law judge
28to preside over any hearing or proceeding before the board.
29Certain provisions applicable to the employment or appointment
30of administrative law judges by state agencies do not apply to
31appointments by the board.
   32Current law requires the board to deduct all amounts charged
33directly to any person subject to the jurisdiction of the
34board for providing utility services from the total annual
35expenses of the board and the consumer advocate. The board may
-5-1assess the remaining amount to all persons providing service
2over which the board has jurisdiction in proportion to their
3respective gross operating revenues. The bill allows the board
4to charge such assessments based on estimated amounts, and to
5be assessed to some or all persons providing service over which
6the board has jurisdiction.
   7Current law requires telecommunications carriers subject to
8assessments under Code chapter 477C to remit the assessments
9to a special fund quarterly. The bill removes the requirement
10that assessments under Code chapter 477C be remitted quarterly
11and instead allows the board to direct the intervals of when
12such assessments are to be remitted.
   13Current law allows the board to impose a civil penalty of up
14to $100,000 for each violation of Code chapter 479, relating
15to pipelines and underground gas storage, or any rule or order
16issued pursuant to the Code chapter, provided that the maximum
17penalty does not exceed $1 million for any related series of
18violations. The bill removes these maximum amounts and instead
19provides that a civil penalty levied by the board shall be in
20accordance with specified federal law.
   21Current law requires pipeline companies operating pipelines
22or underground storage under Code chapter 479A to pay the board
23an annual inspection fee of 50 cents for each mile of pipeline
24located in Iowa. The bill removes this set fee and instead
25allows the board to charge pipeline companies with annual
26inspection fees that are directly attributable to the costs of
27conducting inspections.