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HF 2451

1st Unofficial Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to telecommunications; modifying telephone 
  1.3             company property depreciation provisions; amending 
  1.4             Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.22; repealing 
  1.5             Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.773, subdivision 
  1.6             5; Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.7000; 7810.7100; 
  1.7             7810.7200; 7810.7300; 7810.7400; 7810.7500; 7810.7600; 
  1.8             7810.7700; 7810.7800; 7810.7900; and 7810.8000. 
  1.10     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.22, is 
  1.11  amended to read: 
  1.12     237.22 [DEPRECIATION; AMORTIZATION.] 
  1.13     (a) For purposes of a proceeding to determine or 
  1.14  investigate any wholesale or retail rate, or to set any 
  1.15  universal service support level, the commission shall may fix 
  1.16  proper and adequate rates and methods of depreciation and 
  1.17  amortization with respect to a telephone company company's 
  1.18  property and every telephone company shall conform its 
  1.19  depreciation accounts for property used in whole or in part to 
  1.20  provide noncompetitive services to the rates and methods fixed 
  1.21  by the commission. 
  1.22     (b) All telephone companies shall retain data in sufficient 
  1.23  detail for the purpose of determining depreciation accruals and 
  1.24  reserves by depreciable telephone plant account.  Depreciable 
  1.25  plant accounts are those specified by the Federal Communications 
  1.26  Commission for the class to which a telephone company belongs.  
  1.27  All telephone companies shall maintain, and have available for 
  2.1   inspection by the commission upon request, adequate accounts and 
  2.2   records related to depreciation practices as defined herein. 
  2.4      An administrative law judge experienced in 
  2.5   telecommunications and utility law must be designated by the 
  2.6   chief administrative law judge to convene and facilitate a work 
  2.7   group to prepare proposed legislation reforming the state's 
  2.8   telecommunication law.  The reform proposal shall use as a basis 
  2.9   for discussion the major telecommunication reform proposals 
  2.10  introduced or heard during the 2000 legislative session.  The 
  2.11  work group must also consider other means of ensuring access to 
  2.12  advanced services in rural Minnesota.  
  2.13     The work group must be convened by June 1, 2000.  The work 
  2.14  group must include any members desiring to participate but the 
  2.15  administrative law judge must ensure that invitations to join 
  2.16  the work group are issued to persons who represent:  
  2.17     (1) the department of commerce; 
  2.18     (2) the office of the attorney general; 
  2.19     (3) long-distance carriers; 
  2.20     (4) competitive local service companies; 
  2.21     (5) incumbent local service companies; 
  2.22     (6) rural telephone companies; 
  2.23     (7) cable providers; 
  2.24     (8) local government; 
  2.25     (9) consumers of telecommunication services; 
  2.26     (10) a resident from rural Minnesota; and 
  2.27     (11) a labor representative from the telecommunications 
  2.28  industry.  
  2.29     The work group shall operate in an informal manner without 
  2.30  formal rules of procedure.  The work group shall report to the 
  2.31  legislature, including drafts of proposed legislation supported 
  2.32  by any substantial part of the group.  The administrative law 
  2.33  judge shall ensure that notice of the meetings of the work group 
  2.34  is provided to the public and that members of the public are 
  2.35  allowed to attend. 
  2.36     The departments of commerce and revenue and the public 
  3.1   utilities commission must cooperate with the work group, 
  3.2   including timely responding to requests for information.  
  3.3      Upon request of the chief administrative law judge, the 
  3.4   charges of the office of administrative hearings under this 
  3.5   section shall be assessed pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, 
  3.6   section 237.295, subdivision 2.  The assessment is not subject 
  3.7   to the percent limit on assessments against companies under 
  3.8   Minnesota Statutes, section 237.295, subdivision 2.  The costs 
  3.9   cannot exceed $25,000.  The assessment collected is appropriated 
  3.10  to the office of administrative hearings.  For purposes of 
  3.11  calculating the cost incurred, the chief administrative law 
  3.12  judge shall use the hourly rate that is charged to state 
  3.13  agencies for the services of an administrative law judge in a 
  3.14  contested case hearing.  
  3.15     The work group must submit a report including copies of 
  3.16  proposed legislation, to the committees of the legislature 
  3.17  having primary jurisdiction over telecommunication issues by 
  3.18  December 1, 2000. 
  3.19     Sec. 3.  [REPEALER.] 
  3.20     (a) Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 237.773, subdivision 
  3.21  5, is repealed. 
  3.22     (b) Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.7000; 7810.7100; 7810.7200; 
  3.23  7810.7300; 7810.7400; 7810.7500; 7810.7600; 7810.7700; 
  3.24  7810.7800; 7810.7900; and 7810.8000, are repealed. 
  3.25     Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
  3.26     This act is effective the day following enactment.