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H.B. 145






Sponsor: Brent H. Goodfellow

             6      Greg J. Curtis              7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill expands the permissive uses of dedicated credits for provision of
             11      telecommunications devices and services to hearing and speech impaired persons.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    defines terms;
             15          .    expands the permitted uses of a dedicated credit funded by a telephone surcharge for
             16      services to the deaf, hard of hearing, and severely speech impaired to include
             17      contracting with programs that train persons to serve as certified interpreters; and
             18          .    makes technical changes.
             19      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          54-8b-10, as last amended by Chapters 174 and 375, Laws of Utah 1997
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

             28          Section 1. Section 54-8b-10 is amended to read:
             29           54-8b-10. Imposing a surcharge to provide hearing and speech impaired persons
             30      with telecommunication devices -- Definitions -- Procedures for establishing program --
             31      Surcharge -- Administration and disposition of surcharge moneys.
             32          (1) As used in this section:
             33          (a) "Certified deaf or severely hearing or speech impaired person" means any state
             34      resident who:
             35          (i) is so certified by:
             36          (A) a licensed physician[,];
             37          (B) an otolaryngologist[,];
             38          (C) a speech language pathologist[,];
             39          (D) an audiologist[,]; or
             40          (E) a qualified state agency; and [who also]
             41          (ii) qualifies for assistance under any low income public assistance program
             42      administered by a state agency.
             43          (b) "Certified interpreter" means a person who is a certified interpreter under Title
             44      53A, Chapter 26a, Interpreter Services for the Hearing Impaired Act.
             45          [(b)] (c) (i) "Telecommunication device" means any mechanical [telephone] adaptation
             46      device [which] that enables a deaf or severely hearing or speech impaired person to use the
             47      telephone [and which includes, but is not limited to:].
             48          (ii) "Telecommunication device" includes:
             49          [(i)] (A) telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD);
             50          [(ii)] (B) telephone amplifiers;
             51          [(iii)] (C) telephone signal devices;
             52          [(iv)] (D) artificial larynxes; and
             53          [(v)] (E) adaptive equipment for TDD keyboard access.
             54          (2) The commission shall hold hearings to establish a program whereby any certified
             55      deaf or severely hearing or speech impaired customer of a telephone corporation [which] that
             56      provides service through a local exchange may obtain a telecommunication device capable of
             57      serving the customer at no charge to [him] the customer beyond the rate for basic service.
             58          (3) The program described in Subsection (2) shall provide a dual party relay system

             59      using third party intervention to connect a certified deaf or severely hearing or speech impaired
             60      person with a normal hearing person by way of telecommunication devices designed for that
             61      purpose.
             62          (4) (a) The commission shall impose a surcharge on each residence and business access
             63      line of each customer to the local exchange of any telephone corporation providing such lines
             64      in this state to cover the costs of:
             65          (i) the program[.] described in Subsection (2); and
             66          (ii) payments made under Subsection (5).
             67          (b) The commission shall establish by rule the amount to be charged under this section,
             68      which may not exceed 25 cents per residence and business access line.
             69          (c) The telephone corporation shall collect the surcharge from its customers and
             70      transfer the money collected to the commission under rules adopted by the commission.
             71          (d) The surcharge shall be separately identified on customer bills.
             72          (5) (a) Any money collected from the surcharge imposed under Subsection (4) shall be
             73      deposited in the state treasury as [nonlapsing] dedicated credits to be administered as
             74      determined by the Public Service Commission.
             75          (b) These dedicated credits may be used only:
             76          [(a)] (i) for the purchase, maintenance, repair, and distribution of [the devices for
             77      telecommunication] telecommunication devices;
             78          [(b)] (ii) for the acquisition, operation, maintenance, and repair of a dual party relay
             79      system;
             80          [(c)] (iii) to reimburse telephone corporations for the expenses incurred in collecting
             81      and transferring to the commission the surcharge imposed by the commission;
             82          [(d)] (iv) for the general administration of the program; [and]
             83          [(e)] (v) to train persons in the use of [the] telecommunications devices[.]; and
             84          (vi) by the commission to contract, in compliance with Title 63, Chapter 56, Utah
             85      Procurement Code, with:
             86          (A) an institution within the state system of higher education listed in Section
             87      53B-1-102 for a program approved by the Board of Regents that trains persons to qualify as
             88      certified interpreters; or
             89          (B) the Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for a program that trains

             90      persons to qualify as certified interpreters.
             91          (c) The commission may make rules under Title 63, Chapter 46a, Utah Administrative
             92      Rulemaking Act, for the administration of monies under Subsection (5)(b)(vi).
             93          (d) Monies received by the commission under Subsection (4) are nonlapsing.
             94          (6) (a) The telephone surcharge need not be collected by a local exchange company if
             95      the amount collected would be less than the actual administrative costs of the collection. [In
             96      that case,]
             97          (b) If Subsection (6)(a) applies, the local exchange company shall submit to the
             98      commission, in lieu of the revenue from the surcharge collection, a breakdown of the
             99      anticipated costs and the expected revenue from the collection, showing that the costs exceed
             100      the revenue.
             101          (7) The commission shall solicit the advice, counsel, and physical assistance of
             102      severely hearing or speech impaired persons and the organizations serving them in the design
             103      and implementation of the program.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-26-05 12:17 PM

Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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