SB 946 - This act modifies the authority of municipalities to offer certain communications services.
Under this act, a city, town, or village is prohibited from providing a competitive service except as provided in this act. This act defines "competitive service" as a wholesale or retail offering of a specific communication service that is provided by 1 or more service providers within the city, town, or village. In addition to exceptions set forth in this act, a city, town, or village may offer a competitive service if such service is approved by a majority of voters of the city, town, or village. The question that shall be submitted to the voters for approval is set forth in this act. However, if the question fails to receive a majority vote, the question shall not be resubmitted to the voters for at least 2 years.
Under this act, if a city, town, or village offers a competitive service where a private business also offers such service, the city, town, or village may not financially support the service with revenue collected from other sources. Additionally, if a subdivision seeks to use the infrastructure of a city, town, or village for providing a competitive service, the subdivision shall pay the city the fair market value for using such infrastructure. Further, a city, town, or village may issue a loan to a subdivision wishing to provide competitive service so long as the loan is less than 5 years in length, the total of all loans is $500,000 or less, and the interest rate on the loan is 1% or less above prime.
If any resident or private business providing a competitive service within a city, town, or village believes that the city, town, or village is violating the provisions of this act, they may seek judicial relief. Under certain conditions, the Attorney General may also investigate the actions of the city, town, or village. If a city, town, or village is found in violation of this act, the court is required to make certain orders, and then may order additional remedies as set forth in this act.
This act is substantially similar to HB 2078 (2016).