SB 0525 Expands Eligible Subscribers of Telecommunications Services
LR Number:L2131.01T Fiscal Note:2131-01
Committee:Public Health and Welfare
Last Action:06/17/96 - Signed by Governor
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
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Current Bill Summary

SB 525 - This act expands eligible subscribers of telecommunications services for the disabled to include any individual certified by certain licensed professionals, including speech pathologists, as deaf, hearing-impaired, speech impaired or as having another disability that would make such a person unable to use traditional phone equipment and services.

The Public Service Commission (Commission) shall initiate two, separate, six-month investigations to determine how to implement a program to improve access in the least costly way for persons with these disabilities. In conducting these investigations, the Commission shall solicit the assistance of statewide nonprofit organizations for individuals with disabilities, the office of the public counsel and telecommunications companies representatives.

Within sixty days after the investigations are completed, the Commission's Division of Purchasing shall request competitive bids for such service, known as a statewide dual party relay service and equipment distribution program.

Any balance left in the deaf relay service fund on August 28, 1995 shall be transferred to the deaf relay service and equipment distribution program fund, which is created in this act.

A Surcharge shall be applied to each basic telephone access line, with certain limitations. The Commission shall review the surcharge every one to two years, and shall order adjustments or suspension of the surcharge, as it deems appropriate.