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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 554

as introduced - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to telecommunications; modifying and 
  1.3             recodifying telecommunications laws; imposing excise 
  1.4             tax on certain telecommunications, cable, and video 
  1.5             programming services; appropriating money; amending 
  1.6             Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 13.46, subdivision 
  1.7             2; 13.679, by adding a subdivision; 16A.124, 
  1.8             subdivision 8; 16B.465, subdivisions 1 and 1a; 18.205; 
  1.9             115B.02, subdivision 14; 125B.20, subdivision 2; 
  1.10            216A.03, subdivision 7; 216A.07, subdivisions 2 and 5; 
  1.11            216B.16, subdivision 2; 221.031, subdivision 2; 
  1.12            256.978, subdivision 2; 270B.14, subdivision 1; 
  1.13            272.01, subdivision 3; 297A.61, subdivision 7; 
  1.14            308A.210, subdivisions 3 and 8; 325E.021; 325F.692; 
  1.15            325F.693; 326.242, subdivision 12; 326.2421, 
  1.16            subdivision 2; 403.09; 403.11, subdivision 1; 412.014; 
  1.17            471.425, subdivision 5; 473.129, subdivision 6; 
  1.18            609.52, subdivision 2; 609.80, subdivisions 1 and 2; 
  1.19            and 609.892, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new 
  1.20            law as Minnesota Statutes, chapters 237A; repealing 
  1.21            Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 237.01; 237.011; 
  1.22            237.02; 237.03; 237.035; 237.036; 237.04; 237.05; 
  1.23            237.06; 237.065; 237.066; 237.067; 237.068; 237.069; 
  1.24            237.07; 237.071; 237.072; 237.075; 237.076; 237.081; 
  1.25            237.082; 237.09; 237.10; 237.11; 237.115; 237.12; 
  1.26            237.121; 237.14; 237.15; 237.16; 237.162; 237.163; 
  1.27            237.164; 237.17; 237.18; 237.19; 237.20; 237.21; 
  1.28            237.22; 237.23; 237.231; 237.24; 237.25; 237.26; 
  1.29            237.27; 237.28; 237.295; 237.30; 237.33; 237.34; 
  1.30            237.35; 237.36; 237.37; 237.38; 237.39; 237.40; 
  1.31            237.44; 237.45; 237.46; 237.461; 237.462; 237.47; 
  1.32            237.49; 237.50; 237.51, subdivisions 1, 5, and 5a; 
  1.33            237.52; 237.53; 237.54; 237.55; 237.56; 237.57; 
  1.34            237.5799; 237.58; 237.59; 237.60; 237.61; 237.62; 
  1.35            237.625; 237.626; 237.63; 237.64; 237.65; 237.66; 
  1.36            237.661; 237.662; 237.663; 237.67; 237.68; 237.69; 
  1.37            237.70, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4a, 5, 6, and 7; 
  1.38            237.701; 237.71; 237.711; 237.73; 237.74; 237.75; 
  1.39            237.76; 237.761; 237.762; 237.763; 237.764; 237.765; 
  1.40            237.766; 237.767; 237.768; 237.769; 237.770; 237.771; 
  1.41            237.772; 237.773; 237.774; 237.775; 237.79; 237.80; 
  1.42            237.81; 238.01; 238.02; 238.03; 238.08; 238.081; 
  1.43            238.082; 238.083; 238.084; 238.086; 238.11; 238.12; 
  1.44            238.15; 238.16; 238.17; 238.18; 238.22; 238.23; 
  1.45            238.24; 238.241; 238.242; 238.25; 238.26; 238.27; 
  1.46            238.35; 238.36; 238.37; 238.38; 238.39; 238.40; 
  2.1             238.41; 238.42; and 238.43. repealing Minnesota Rules, 
  2.2             parts 7810.8715; 7810.8720; 7810.8725; 7810.8730; 
  2.3             7810.8735; 7810.8740; 7810.8745; 7810.8750; 7810.8755; 
  2.4             7810.8760; 7810.8800; 7810.8805; 7810.8810; 7810.8815; 
  2.5             7810.8900; 7810.8905; 7810.8910; 7810.8915; 7810.8920; 
  2.6             7810.8925; 7810.8930; 7810.8935; 7810.8940; 7811.0050; 
  2.7             7811.0100; 7811.0150; 7811.0200; 7811.0300; 7811.0350; 
  2.8             7811.0400; 7811.0500; 7811.0550; 7811.0600; 7811.0700; 
  2.9             7811.0800; 7811.0900; 7811.1000; 7811.1050; 7811.1100; 
  2.10            7811.1200; 7811.1300; 7811.1400; 7811.1500; 7811.1600; 
  2.11            7811.1700; 7811.1800; 7811.1900; 7811.2000; 7811.2100; 
  2.12            7811.2200; 7811.2300; 7812.0050; 7812.0100, subparts 
  2.13            22, 23, 31, 32, 35, 45, and 47; 7812.0200, subpart 2; 
  2.14            7812.0300, subparts 1, 2, 3, and 4; 7812.0350; 
  2.15            7812.0400; 7812.0500; 7812;1300; 7812.1400; 7815.0100; 
  2.16            7815.0200; 7815.0300; 7815.0400; 7815.0500; 7815.0600; 
  2.17            7817.0100; 7817.0200; 7817.0300; 7817.0400; 7817.0500; 
  2.18            7817.0600; 7817.0700; 7817.0800; 7817.0900; and 
  2.19            7817.1000. 
  2.20  BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
  2.21                             ARTICLE 1 
  2.22           TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE GENERAL REGULATION
  2.23     Section 1.  [237A.01] [DEFINITIONS.] 
  2.24     Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] For the purposes of this chapter, 
  2.25  the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them.  
  2.26  [238.02, subd 1] 
  2.27     Subd. 2.  [ACCESS LINE.] "Access line" means company-owned 
  2.28  facilities of a telecommunication service provider that are 
  2.29  furnished to permit switched access to a telecommunications 
  2.30  network and that extend from a switching facility to the 
  2.31  demarcation point on the property where a telecommunications 
  2.32  service subscriber is served.  The term includes access lines 
  2.33  provided to residential and business subscribers and Centrex 
  2.34  access lines on a trunk-equivalent basis, but does not include 
  2.35  private nonswitched or wide-area telephone service access lines. 
  2.36  [237.69, subd 5] 
  2.37     Subd. 3.  [ACCESS SERVICE.] "Access service" means the 
  2.38  provision of access to local service facilities for the purpose 
  2.39  of originating or terminating intrastate long distance calls.  
  2.40  [New] 
  2.41     Subd. 4.  [ACTUAL COMPETITION.] "Actual competition" means 
  2.42  a local service area in which at least two facilities-based 
  2.43  local service providers are offering a telecommunications 
  2.44  service.  For the purposes of this subdivision, a wireless 
  2.45  telecommunications service provider is considered a 
  3.1   facilities-based local service provider only if (1) the 
  3.2   commission determines that the carrier is able and willing to 
  3.3   provide essential services to its customers; or (2) it has been 
  3.4   designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier under 
  3.5   section 237A.42, subdivision 2.  [New] 
  3.6      Subd. 5.  [ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE.] "Advanced 
  3.7   telecommunications service" means telecommunications services, 
  3.8   or capabilities, such as redundancy, or high speed data service 
  3.9   (256 Kbps or higher), that are available in some geographic 
  3.10  areas of the state, but not others.  The term is intended to 
  3.11  evolve with changes in technology.  
  3.12     Subd. 6.  [AFFILIATE.] "Affiliate" means a person that, 
  3.13  directly or indirectly, owns or controls, is owned or controlled 
  3.14  by, or is under common ownership or control with, another 
  3.15  person.  For purposes of this chapter, the term "own" means to 
  3.16  own an equity interest, or the equivalent of an equity interest, 
  3.17  of more than five percent.  [New] 
  3.18     Subd. 7.  [CABLE SERVICE.] "Cable service" means (1) the 
  3.19  one-way transmission to subscribers of multiple channels of 
  3.20  video programming or other programming service, and (2) 
  3.21  subscriber interaction, if any, that is required for the 
  3.22  selection or use of the video programming or other programming 
  3.23  service.  The content of cable service is controlled by the 
  3.24  service provider.  Cable services are provided through 
  3.25  facilities that use public rights-of-way.  Cable service does 
  3.26  not include high-speed data transport.  [New] 
  3.27     Subd. 8.  [COMMISSION.] "Commission" means the public 
  3.28  utilities commission.  [237.69, subd 2] 
  3.29     Subd. 9.  [DEPARTMENT.] "Department" means the department 
  3.30  of commerce.  [237.69, subd 3] 
  3.31     Subd. 10.  [ESSENTIAL SERVICES.] "Essential services" means:
  3.32  voice-grade access to the public switched network, unlimited 
  3.33  local usage for a flat rate, dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) 
  3.34  signaling or its functional equivalent capability; single-party 
  3.35  service or its functional equivalent; access to operator 
  3.36  services; toll-free Internet access; equal access; access to 
  4.1   emergency services number capability, including 911 and E911; 
  4.2   statewide telecommunications relay service for the hearing 
  4.3   impaired; access to directory services; and toll-blocking or 
  4.4   toll-limitation services.  [New] 
  4.5      Subd. 11.  [FACILITIES BASED.] "Facilities based" refers to 
  4.6   accessing end-user telecommunications service customers through 
  4.7   overbuilding or utilizing leased or purchased network elements.  
  4.8   [New] 
  4.9      Subd. 12.  [HIGH-SPEED DATA TRANSPORT.] "High-speed data 
  4.10  transport" means a telecommunications service that uses 
  4.11  switched, broadband telecommunications capability (1) to enable 
  4.12  users to subscribe to an information service, or (2) to 
  4.13  originate or receive voice, data, graphics, and video 
  4.14  information of the subscriber's choosing, regardless of the 
  4.15  technology employed, at transmission speeds of 256 kilobits per 
  4.16  second or greater.  [New] 
  4.17     Subd. 13.  [INCUMBENT LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER.] "Incumbent 
  4.18  local service provider" means any local service provider, that 
  4.19  either itself or its predecessors in interest, on January 1, 
  4.20  1985, owned and operated a local public switched 
  4.21  telecommunications network in Minnesota.  [New] 
  4.22     Subd. 14.  [INFORMATION SERVICE.] "Information service" 
  4.23  means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, 
  4.24  storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or 
  4.25  making available information via telecommunications, and 
  4.26  includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of 
  4.27  any such capability for managing, controlling, or operating a 
  4.28  telecommunications system or managing a telecommunications 
  4.29  service.  Information service does not include high-speed data 
  4.30  transport.  [New] 
  4.31     Subd. 15.  [INTRASTATE LONG-DISTANCE SERVICE.] "Intrastate 
  4.32  long-distance service" means a telecommunications service 
  4.33  originating in one local service area and terminating in 
  4.34  another, all within Minnesota for which there is made a separate 
  4.35  charge not included in contracts with subscribers or tariffs 
  4.36  filed with the commission for local service.  [New] 
  5.1      Subd. 16.  [LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT.] "Local government unit" 
  5.2   means a county or a statutory or home rule charter city.  [New] 
  5.3      Subd. 17.  [LOCAL SERVICE.] "Local service" means 
  5.4   telecommunications service within an area in which calls 
  5.5   originate and terminate without a toll charge for intrastate 
  5.6   long-distance service.  [New] 
  5.7      Subd. 18.  [LOCAL SERVICE AREA.] "Local service area" means 
  5.8   a geographic area established by the commission in which 
  5.9   telecommunications services provided by a local service provider 
  5.10  or eligible telecommunications carrier originate and terminate 
  5.11  without a toll charge for intrastate long-distance service.  
  5.12  [New] 
  5.13     Subd. 19.  [LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER.] "Local service 
  5.14  provider" means a telecommunications service provider that 
  5.15  provides local service.  [New] 
  5.16     Subd. 20.  [MULTICHANNEL VIDEO PROGRAMMING 
  5.17  SERVICE.] "Multichannel video programming service" means (1) the 
  5.18  one-way transmission to subscribers of multiple channels of 
  5.19  video programming or other programming service, and (2) 
  5.20  subscriber interaction, if any, that is required for the 
  5.21  selection or use of the video programming or other video 
  5.22  programming service.  The content of multichannel video 
  5.23  programming service is controlled by the service provider.  
  5.24  Multichannel video programming service does not include 
  5.25  high-speed data transport. 
  5.26     Subd. 21.  [NETWORK ELEMENT.] "Network element" means a 
  5.27  facility or equipment, capable of being disaggregated from other 
  5.28  network elements, used alone or in combination for providing 
  5.29  local service.  The term also includes features, functions, and 
  5.30  capabilities that are provided by means of such facility or 
  5.31  equipment, including subscriber numbers, databases, signaling 
  5.32  systems, and information sufficient for billing and collection, 
  5.33  or used in the transmission, routing, or other provision of a 
  5.34  telecommunications service.  [New] 
  5.35     Subd. 22.  [OFFERED OR OFFERING.] A service is "offered" or 
  5.36  a service provider is "offering" a service under this section 
  6.1   when the commission determines that (1) the service provider is 
  6.2   physically able to deliver the service, with the addition of no 
  6.3   or only minimal additional investment, (2) no regulatory, 
  6.4   technical, or other impediments to customers taking service 
  6.5   exist, and (3) customers are reasonably aware that they may 
  6.6   purchase the service from the carrier.  [New] 
  6.7      Subd. 23.  [OVERBUILDING.] "Overbuilding" refers to 
  6.8   accessing end-user telecommunications service customers 
  6.9   substantially through facilities redundant of an incumbent local 
  6.10  service provider.  [New] 
  6.11     Subd. 24.  [PERSON.] "Person" means any individual, 
  6.12  trustee, partnership, municipality, association, corporation, or 
  6.13  other legal entity, however organized.  [238.02, subd 11] 
  6.14     Subd. 25.  [TELECOMMUNICATIONS.] "Telecommunications" means 
  6.15  the electronic transmission, between or among points specified 
  6.16  by the user, of information of the user's choosing without 
  6.17  change in the form or content of the information as sent and 
  6.18  received.  [New] 
  6.19     Subd. 26.  [TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
  6.20  SERVICE.] "Telecommunications service" means the offering of 
  6.21  telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such 
  6.22  classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the 
  6.23  public, regardless of the facilities used, and includes 
  6.24  high-speed data transport.  [New] 
  6.25     Subd. 27.  [TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE 
  6.26  PROVIDER.] "Telecommunications service provider" means any 
  6.27  provider of telecommunications service.  [New] 
  6.28     Subd. 28.  [VIDEO PROGRAMMING.] "Video programming" means 
  6.29  programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to 
  6.30  programming provided by, a television broadcast station.  [New] 
  6.31     Subd. 29.  [WHOLESALE SERVICE PROVIDER.] "Wholesale service 
  6.32  provider" means any telecommunications service provider required 
  6.33  to provide wholesale telecommunications services under federal 
  6.34  law.  [New] 
  6.35     Subd. 30.  [WHOLESALE TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
  6.36  SERVICE.] "Wholesale telecommunications service" means the 
  7.1   provision of interconnection, access, unbundled network 
  7.2   elements, alone or in combination; or resale to other 
  7.3   telecommunications service providers.  Wholesale 
  7.4   telecommunications service also includes any service, term, 
  7.5   element, or duty, including collocation, necessary to implement 
  7.6   the provision of local service.  [New] 
  7.7      Sec. 2.  [237A.02] [COMMISSION AND DEPARTMENT AUTHORITY; 
  7.8   GOALS.] 
  7.9      Subdivision 1.  [REGULATORY AUTHORITY.] The commission and 
  7.10  the department shall have all the regulatory authority necessary 
  7.11  over cable services, telecommunications services, and other 
  7.12  multichannel video programming services for implementing and 
  7.13  enforcing the provisions of this chapter. [New] 
  7.14     Subd. 2.  [STATE GOALS, CONSIDERATIONS.] The commission 
  7.15  shall consider the following state goals as it executes its 
  7.16  regulatory duties with respect to cable and telecommunications 
  7.17  services: 
  7.18     (1) supporting universal service, including low-income and 
  7.19  rural consumers; 
  7.20     (2) encouraging economically efficient deployment of 
  7.21  infrastructure for the highest speed telecommunications services 
  7.22  and greatest capacity for voice, video, and data transmission; 
  7.23     (3) encouraging fair and robust competition for 
  7.24  telecommunications and cable services in a competitively neutral 
  7.25  regulatory manner; 
  7.26     (4) maintaining or improving quality of telecommunications 
  7.27  and cable services; 
  7.28     (5) promoting customer choice; 
  7.29     (6) ensuring consumer protections are maintained; 
  7.30     (7) encouraging voluntary resolution of issues between and 
  7.31  among competing providers and discouraging litigation; and 
  7.32     (8) encouraging the development of advanced 
  7.33  telecommunications services and innovative alternative 
  7.34  technologies for providing telecommunications services.  
  7.35  [237.011] 
  7.36     Sec. 3.  [237A.03] [LOCAL SERVICE PROVIDER ENTRY 
  8.1   REGULATION.] 
  8.2      Subdivision 1.  [LOCAL SERVICE FITNESS DETERMINATION AND 
  8.3   CERTIFICATE.] The commission shall issue a certificate of 
  8.4   authority to any person who possesses the operational and 
  8.5   financial resources to provide local service, is under no legal 
  8.6   barrier to providing local service in Minnesota, and will not 
  8.7   jeopardize the public health, safety, or welfare. 
  8.8      Subd. 2.  [APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS.] An application for a 
  8.9   certificate of authority to provide local service must include 
  8.10  the following information: 
  8.11     (1) the applicant's full name and address, including the 
  8.12  address of the applicant's place of business and (i) if a 
  8.13  corporation, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of its 
  8.14  officers, (ii) if a partnership or limited liability 
  8.15  partnership, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of 
  8.16  persons authorized to bind the partnership, or (iii) if a 
  8.17  limited liability company, the names, addresses, and telephone 
  8.18  numbers of its managers; 
  8.19     (2) the toll-free telephone number for customer service; 
  8.20     (3) a graphical or written description of the area the 
  8.21  applicant proposes to serve; 
  8.22     (4) a statement of the applicant's experience in providing 
  8.23  local service in other jurisdictions, including (i) the dates 
  8.24  and nature of state or federal authorization to provide those 
  8.25  services, (ii) pending or completed criminal, civil, or 
  8.26  administrative action taken against the applicant by a state or 
  8.27  federal authority, including any settlements, in connection with 
  8.28  the applicant's provision of telecommunications service, and 
  8.29  (iii) whether, in this state or any other state, the applicant 
  8.30  had its ability to provide service suspended or revoked; 
  8.31     (5) a list of the applicant's affiliates, subsidiaries, and 
  8.32  parent organizations, if any, providing telecommunications 
  8.33  service in Minnesota; 
  8.34     (6) for the most recent fiscal year, a financial statement 
  8.35  of the applicant, consisting of a balance sheet, an income 
  8.36  statement, and statement of sources and uses of cash; 
  9.1      (7) a proposed price list or tariff setting forth the 
  9.2   rates, terms, and conditions of each service offering; 
  9.3      (8) a description of the applicant's customer service 
  9.4   operations, policies, and procedures; and 
  9.5      (9) the applicant's certificate of corporation as filed 
  9.6   with the office of the secretary of state. [New] 
  9.7      Sec. 4.  [237A.04] [LOCAL GOVERNMENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
  9.8   SERVICE.] 
  9.9      Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE LOCAL SERVICE.] A 
  9.10  local government unit is entitled to provide facilities-based 
  9.11  local service within its own borders, subject to this chapter 
  9.12  and to a commission determination that (1) 50 percent or more of 
  9.13  the customers within the local government unit's borders are not 
  9.14  subject to actual competition with respect to essential 
  9.15  services, or there is no provider of high speed data transport 
  9.16  within the local government unit's borders, and (2) the local 
  9.17  service facilities are designed and constructed to allow for the 
  9.18  provision of wholesale service. 
  9.19     Subd. 2.  [AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO JOINT VENTURES.] A local 
  9.20  government unit with a certificate of authority to provide local 
  9.21  service may enter into a joint venture with a telecommunications 
  9.22  service provider to provide local service within the local 
  9.23  government unit's borders.  [New] 
  9.24     Sec. 5.  [237A.05] [LONG-DISTANCE ENTRY.] 
  9.25     Subdivision 1.  [REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT.] No person shall 
  9.26  provide local long-distance service in Minnesota without first 
  9.27  filing the following information with the commission: 
  9.28     (1) the name, address, and telephone number of the entity 
  9.29  that will provide the local long-distance service; 
  9.30     (2) the name and address of the provider's registered agent 
  9.31  in Minnesota; 
  9.32     (3) the name, address, and telephone number of the primary 
  9.33  contact for the provider with respect to telecommunications 
  9.34  regulatory issues; 
  9.35     (4) the toll-free telephone number for customer service; 
  9.36     (5) pending or completed criminal, civil, or administrative 
 10.1   action taken against the applicant by a state or federal 
 10.2   authority, including any settlements, in connection with the 
 10.3   applicant's provision of telecommunications service whether, in 
 10.4   this state or any other state; and 
 10.5      (6) whether the applicant has had its ability to provide 
 10.6   service suspended or revoked in any state. 
 10.7      Subd. 2.  [PREPAID SERVICES; BOND REQUIRED.] (a) A person 
 10.8   has authority to provide prepaid telecommunications services if 
 10.9   the person meets the appropriate certification or registration 
 10.10  requirements under this chapter and furnishes to the commission 
 10.11  a performance guaranty in the form of a bond, letter of credit, 
 10.12  certificate of deposit, or other instrument approved by the 
 10.13  commission in an amount determined by the commission by rule as 
 10.14  adequate to provide compensation for damages resulting from the 
 10.15  failure to meet quality of service standards or to deliver 
 10.16  promised services.  The department may vary the amount 
 10.17  furnished, or waive the bond requirement, dependent on the type 
 10.18  of service offered or proposed to be offered.  The guaranty 
 10.19  amount must be proportional to the number of customers served or 
 10.20  proposed to be served.  The guaranty amount must be adjusted to 
 10.21  reflect the number of customers served and renewed annually. 
 10.22     (b) A person may not provide or offer to provide prepaid 
 10.23  telecommunications services if the person is not in compliance 
 10.24  with this section.  [New] 
 10.25                             ARTICLE 2 
 10.26               TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE COMPETITION
 10.27     Section 1.  [237A.06] [REGULATION OF WHOLESALE SERVICES.] 
 10.28     Subdivision 1.  [WHOLESALE SERVICE OBLIGATION.] (a) The 
 10.29  commission may require wholesale service providers to furnish 
 10.30  network elements approved by the Federal Communications 
 10.31  Commission and may require wholesale service providers to 
 10.32  furnish other network elements the commission determines are 
 10.33  necessary such that if not provided would impair the ability of 
 10.34  the telecommunications service provider seeking the network 
 10.35  element to provide the high quality telecommunications services 
 10.36  it seeks to offer.  
 11.1      (b) Wholesale service providers shall provide all network 
 11.2   elements approved by the Federal Communications Commission or 
 11.3   the commission alone or in combination with other network 
 11.4   elements.  [New] 
 11.5      Subd. 2.  [MINIMUM SERVICE QUALITY.] Wholesale 
 11.6   telecommunications service must be provided at a level that is 
 11.7   at least equal in quality to the highest level of quality 
 11.8   provided by the wholesale service provider to itself or to its 
 11.9   affiliates.  Compliance with this subdivision does not 
 11.10  necessarily demonstrate high quality service required by 
 11.11  subdivision 1.  [New] 
 11.12     Subd. 3.  [WHOLESALE SERVICE RULES.] Within one year after 
 11.13  the effective date of this act, the commission shall adopt rules 
 11.14  establishing requirements for wholesale telecommunications 
 11.15  services offered in the state.  These rules are in addition to 
 11.16  any federal requirements relating to the provision of wholesale 
 11.17  services. 
 11.18     Subd. 4.  [MINIMUM STANDARDS.] (a) The commission's rule 
 11.19  standards for wholesale services must be established as minimum 
 11.20  standards.  In any particular case, stricter standards may apply 
 11.21  to the provision of wholesale services if required by the terms 
 11.22  of the parties' interconnection agreements.  The commission may 
 11.23  order company-specific wholesale service quality standards.  
 11.24  [New] 
 11.25     (b) The commission may order any equitable relief it deems 
 11.26  necessary to enforce its wholesale service quality rules and 
 11.27  standards, including but not limited to approval of liquidated 
 11.28  damages in interconnection agreements, bill credits, refunds, 
 11.29  and penalties under section 237A.35. 
 11.30     Subd. 5.  [PROHIBITED PRACTICES.] A wholesale service 
 11.31  provider shall not do any of the following: 
 11.32     (1) upon request, fail to disclose in a timely and uniform 
 11.33  manner information necessary for the design of equipment and 
 11.34  services that will meet specifications for the provision of 
 11.35  wholesale services; 
 11.36     (2) intentionally impair the speed, quality, or efficiency 
 12.1   of services, products, or facilities offered to a consumer; 
 12.2      (3) fail to provide a service, product, or facility to a 
 12.3   customer in accordance with the commission's rules and orders; 
 12.4      (4) refuse to provide a service, product, or facility to a 
 12.5   telecommunications service provider in accordance with the 
 12.6   commission's rules and orders; or 
 12.7      (5) impose unreasonable or discriminatory restrictions on 
 12.8   the resale of its services.  [237.121, para (a)] 
 12.9      Subd. 6.  [PRICE FOR WHOLESALE SERVICES.] Prices for 
 12.10  wholesale services must be established or existing rates 
 12.11  maintained by the commission, but the rates may be adjusted by 
 12.12  the commission if necessary, based on a forward-looking economic 
 12.13  cost methodology that must include, but is not limited to, 
 12.14  consideration of the following: 
 12.15     (1) the use of the most efficient telecommunications 
 12.16  technology currently available and the least cost network 
 12.17  configuration consistent with providing the high quality 
 12.18  telecommunications service; 
 12.19     (2) forward-looking depreciation rates; 
 12.20     (3) a reasonable allocation of forward-looking joint and 
 12.21  common costs; 
 12.22     (4) forward-looking cost of capital; and 
 12.23     (5) Minnesota tax rates and, if applicable, Minnesota 
 12.24  facility placement requirements, Minnesota topography, and 
 12.25  Minnesota climate.  [237.12, subd 4] 
 12.26     Sec. 2.  [237A.07] [MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS.] 
 12.27     Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSION CONSENT.] (a) No person may 
 12.28  purchase, acquire, or assume control of the property, capital 
 12.29  stock, bonds, securities, or other obligations, or the 
 12.30  franchises, rights, privileges, and immunities of any 
 12.31  telecommunications service provider without receiving the prior 
 12.32  consent of the commission.  A transaction, except for one 
 12.33  involving a wholesale service provider, is exempt from this 
 12.34  subdivision if 75 percent of the total affected residential and 
 12.35  business customers would be subject to actual competition with 
 12.36  respect to essential services after the closing of the 
 13.1   transaction. 
 13.2      (b) The transferor and transferee of any property described 
 13.3   in paragraph (a) shall both join in the application filed with 
 13.4   the commission for the approval of the purchase, acquisition, or 
 13.5   assumption of control.  
 13.6      (c) The commission may order public hearings to be held as 
 13.7   it deems necessary with respect to any transaction subject to 
 13.8   the commission's prior consent under this subdivision.  [237.23; 
 13.9   237.231, subd 1] 
 13.10     Subd. 2.  [NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS.] At least 120 days prior to 
 13.11  the closing of any purchase, acquisition, or assumption of 
 13.12  control of the property, capital stock, bonds, securities, or 
 13.13  other obligations, or the franchises, rights, privileges, and 
 13.14  immunities of any telecommunications service provider, the 
 13.15  transferor must provide notice to its affected customers and 
 13.16  identify the name of the proposed buyer.  The notice must be 
 13.17  included as a separate document from the customer's monthly 
 13.18  bill, but may be delivered to the customer under the same cover 
 13.19  as a monthly bill.  [237.231, subd 2] 
 13.20     Subd. 3.  [PUBLIC INTEREST STANDARD.] The commission shall 
 13.21  consent to a transfer subject to a determination that the 
 13.22  transaction is consistent with the public interest, and that the 
 13.23  transferee has the financial and operational qualifications 
 13.24  necessary to provide service in accordance with this chapter.  
 13.25  [New] 
 13.26     Sec. 3.  [237A.08] [LOCAL SERVICE RATE REGULATION; RULES.] 
 13.27     Subdivision 1.  [RATE RESTRUCTURING; MORATORIUM.] (a) The 
 13.28  commission shall undertake a generic proceeding to be completed 
 13.29  by December 31, 2002, to establish deaveraged retail rates for 
 13.30  essential local telecommunications services provided by 
 13.31  incumbent local service providers.  The commission shall take 
 13.32  into account the following factors in establishing deaveraged 
 13.33  retail rates for essential local telecommunications services: 
 13.34     (1) modifications to the service provider's current rate 
 13.35  design that allow for the lowest price possible for basic voice 
 13.36  grade telephone service while allowing the incumbent local 
 14.1   service provider to earn a reasonable return on investment; 
 14.2      (2) the extent to which the service provider can earn 
 14.3   revenue from other service offerings currently offered by other 
 14.4   local service providers in the state to contribute toward cost 
 14.5   recovery and a reasonable return on investment; 
 14.6      (3) whether the local service provider's total 
 14.7   telecommunications service revenue recovers the service 
 14.8   provider's total embedded cost of local service within a local 
 14.9   service area, applying the criteria set forth in subdivision 11; 
 14.10  and 
 14.11     (4) the extent to which the price of essential 
 14.12  telecommunications service covers the forward-looking cost of 
 14.13  providing the service. 
 14.14     (b) Following the completion of the retail deaveraging 
 14.15  proceeding required in paragraph (a), prices for essential 
 14.16  telecommunications services established in the deaveraging 
 14.17  proceeding must not be increased for two years. 
 14.18     Subd. 2.  [COMPLAINT-BASED RATE REGULATION.] (a) After the 
 14.19  expiration of the two-year rate freeze provided in subdivision 
 14.20  1, paragraph (b), with respect to essential local services, or 
 14.21  any time with respect to nonessential telecommunications 
 14.22  services, if consumers representing five percent or 500, 
 14.23  whichever is less, of the access lines within an incumbent local 
 14.24  service provider's local service area complain to the commission 
 14.25  about the prevailing or proposed rate for local 
 14.26  telecommunications services, the department, attorney general, 
 14.27  or commission may conduct an investigation into the 
 14.28  reasonableness of the rate.  The commission shall dismiss a 
 14.29  complaint under this section if it finds that 75 percent of the 
 14.30  local service provider's customers within the local service area 
 14.31  are subject to actual competition with respect to the service in 
 14.32  question. 
 14.33     (b) Individual or group complaints in writing, or 
 14.34  complaints submitted electronically, that can be independently 
 14.35  verified may be aggregated to meet the standard for triggering 
 14.36  an investigation provided in paragraph (a).  Complaints relating 
 15.1   to the same company from different consumers may be consolidated 
 15.2   by the commission as it deems necessary.  [New] 
 15.3      Subd. 3.  [RATE INVESTIGATIONS.] When a complaint is filed 
 15.4   in compliance with subdivision 2, the department and the 
 15.5   attorney general may require the local service provider to 
 15.6   submit statements of fact, expert opinions, substantiating 
 15.7   documents, and exhibits supporting the rate challenged or the 
 15.8   rate changed.  [New] 
 15.9      Subd. 4.  [RATE CHANGE SUSPENSION.] The commission, after a 
 15.10  complaint is filed by the department or the attorney general 
 15.11  under subdivision 2, may suspend the effectiveness of a rate 
 15.12  change noticed under subdivision 3.  The suspension must not 
 15.13  last longer than ten months beyond the initial filing date.  
 15.14  [237.075, subd 2, para (a)] 
 15.15     Subd. 5.  [RATE CHANGE DETERMINATION, PROCEEDINGS 
 15.16  GENERALLY.] (a) The commission shall determine whether all 
 15.17  material issues of fact regarding the complaint have been 
 15.18  resolved.  If the commission finds that all material issues of 
 15.19  fact have not been resolved, the commission may refer the matter 
 15.20  to the office of administrative hearings for resolution of such 
 15.21  issues, with instructions for a public hearing as a contested 
 15.22  case under chapter 14, or may utilize any other administrative 
 15.23  process available to it under this chapter or chapter 216A. 
 15.24     (b) If the commission does not make a final determination 
 15.25  concerning the rate complaint within ten months after the 
 15.26  complaint is filed, the rate complaint is deemed to have been 
 15.27  dismissed by the commission; except, if a settlement has been 
 15.28  submitted to and rejected by the commission, and no other 
 15.29  determination is made by the commission, the rate complaint is 
 15.30  deemed to have been dismissed 12 months after the date a 
 15.31  complaint is filed. 
 15.32     (c) For the purposes of this section, "final determination" 
 15.33  means the initial decision of the commission and not an order 
 15.34  that may be entered by the commission in response to a petition 
 15.35  for rehearing or other further relief.  The commission may 
 15.36  continue to suspend a rate change noticed under subdivision 3 
 16.1   until it resolves these petitions.  [237.075, subd 2, paras (a) 
 16.2   and (c)] 
 16.3      Subd. 6.  [INTERIM RATE.] Notwithstanding any commission 
 16.4   order suspending a rate change noticed under subdivision 3, the 
 16.5   commission shall order an interim rate into effect not later 
 16.6   than 60 days after the date the rate complaint is filed.  The 
 16.7   commission may order the interim rate ex parte without a public 
 16.8   hearing.  Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 216.25 and 
 16.9   237A.30, no interim rate ordered by the commission under this 
 16.10  section is subject to an application for a rehearing or an 
 16.11  appeal to a court until the commission has rendered its final 
 16.12  determination.  
 16.13     Subd. 7.  [REFUNDING EXCESS INTERIM RATE.] (a) If, at the 
 16.14  time of its final determination, the commission finds that the 
 16.15  interim rates are in excess of the rates in the final 
 16.16  determination, the commission shall order the company to refund 
 16.17  the excess amount collected under the interim rate order 
 16.18  including interest on it which must be at the rate of interest 
 16.19  determined by the commission.  The incumbent service provider 
 16.20  shall begin distributing the refund to its customers within 120 
 16.21  days of the final order, not subject to rehearing or appeal. 
 16.22     (b) If, at the time of its final determination, the 
 16.23  commission finds that the interim rates are less than the rates 
 16.24  in the final determination, the commission may prescribe a 
 16.25  method by which the carrier will recover the difference in 
 16.26  revenues from the date of the final determination to the date 
 16.27  the new rate is put into effect. 
 16.28     (c) If the incumbent local service provider whose rates are 
 16.29  being challenged fails to make refunds within the period of time 
 16.30  prescribed by the commission, the commission shall sue for the 
 16.31  refund and may recover on behalf of all persons entitled to a 
 16.32  refund.  In addition to the amount of the refund and interest 
 16.33  due, the commission is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's 
 16.34  fees, court costs, and estimated costs of administering the 
 16.35  distribution of the refund to persons entitled to the refund.  A 
 16.36  suit under this subdivision must be instituted within two years 
 17.1   after the end of the period of time prescribed by the commission 
 17.2   for repayment of refunds.  [237.075, subd 3] 
 17.3      Subd. 8.  [BURDEN OF PROOF.] The burden of proof to show 
 17.4   that the rate change is just and reasonable is on the local 
 17.5   service provider whose rate is challenged.  [237.075, subd 4] 
 17.6      Subd. 9.  [DETERMINATION WHEN PROPOSED RATE UNACCEPTABLE.] 
 17.7   If, after a hearing, the commission finds the rates to be 
 17.8   unreasonable, the commission shall determine the rates to be 
 17.9   charged or applied by the local service provider for the service 
 17.10  in question and shall fix them by order to be served upon the 
 17.11  carrier based on the factors set forth in subdivision 10.  The 
 17.12  rates must thereafter be observed for one year from the date of 
 17.13  the commission's order.  Rate design changes are prospective 
 17.14  from the effective date of the new rates approved by the 
 17.15  commission.  [237.075, subd 5] 
 17.16     Subd. 10.  [FACTORS GENERALLY CONSIDERED.] (a) The 
 17.17  commission, in the exercise of its powers under this chapter to 
 17.18  adjudicate rate complaints filed by customers against local 
 17.19  service providers, shall consider the factors set forth in 
 17.20  subdivision 1. 
 17.21     (b) In determining the total embedded costs upon which a 
 17.22  local service provider is to be allowed to earn a fair rate of 
 17.23  return, the commission shall consider evidence of (1) the cost 
 17.24  of the property when devoted to public use, (2) the prudent 
 17.25  acquisition cost to the local service provider, less appropriate 
 17.26  depreciation on each, (3) construction work in progress, (4) 
 17.27  offsets in the nature of capital provided by sources other than 
 17.28  the investors, and (5) other expenses of a capital nature. 
 17.29     (c) To the extent that construction work in progress is 
 17.30  included in the calculation of embedded costs, the income used 
 17.31  in determining the actual return on the provider's property may 
 17.32  include an allowance for funds used during construction. 
 17.33     (d) For purposes of determining embedded costs, the 
 17.34  commission shall consider the original cost of the provider's 
 17.35  property included in the base and shall make no allowance for 
 17.36  its estimated current replacement value. 
 18.1      (e) The commission shall not make an allowance for 
 18.2   operating expenses incurred by a local service provider for 
 18.3   institutional advertising. 
 18.4      (f) The commission shall allow as operating expenses only 
 18.5   those charitable contributions that the commission deems prudent 
 18.6   and that qualify under section 290.21, subdivision 3, clause (b) 
 18.7   or (e).  The commission shall allow as operating expenses only 
 18.8   50 percent of the qualified contributions. 
 18.9      (g) The commission shall consider the extent to which the 
 18.10  incumbent local service provider is receiving subsidies from the 
 18.11  state and federal universal service programs. 
 18.12     Subd. 11.  [DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED.] A 
 18.13  telecommunications service provider shall not charge any person 
 18.14  within a local service area greater or less compensation for any 
 18.15  local service or intrastate long distance service than it 
 18.16  charges any other person within the same intrastate service area 
 18.17  for a like and contemporaneous telecommunications service under 
 18.18  similar circumstances.  If 75 percent of the customer base for 
 18.19  any class of telecommunications service is subject to actual 
 18.20  competition, this section does not apply with respect to that 
 18.21  service.  [237.09, subd 1] 
 18.22     Subd. 12.  [FILING REQUIREMENTS.] All local service 
 18.23  providers and intrastate long distance providers shall keep on 
 18.24  file with the department a specific rate, toll, or charge for 
 18.25  every kind of telecommunications service, together with all 
 18.26  rules and classifications used by it in the conduct of its 
 18.27  telecommunications service business, including limitations on 
 18.28  liability.  The filings are governed by chapter 13.  The 
 18.29  commission has the authority to waive the requirements of this 
 18.30  section with respect to any type of telecommunications service.  
 18.31  In no event shall the commission waive this requirement if it 
 18.32  has not found the service to be subject to actual competition.  
 18.33  [237.07, subd 1] 
 18.34     Subd. 13.  [RULES.] The commission may adopt new rules or 
 18.35  maintain existing rules governing the conduct of local service 
 18.36  providers, but the rules must be consistent with this chapter.  
 19.1      Sec. 4.  [237A.09] [INTRASTATE LONG DISTANCE SERVICE 
 19.2   REGULATION.] 
 19.3      Subdivision 1.  [FILING REQUIREMENT.] Every intrastate long 
 19.4   distance service provider shall keep on file with the department 
 19.5   a description of the standard contract terms and conditions upon 
 19.6   which it provides intrastate long distance services in 
 19.7   Minnesota, including limitations on liability.  The department 
 19.8   shall require each intrastate long distance service provider to 
 19.9   keep open for public inspection at designated offices any 
 19.10  information regarding the terms and conditions on which it 
 19.11  offers intrastate long distance service the department considers 
 19.12  necessary for public information, subject to the provisions of 
 19.13  chapter 13. 
 19.14     Subd. 2.  [TARIFF OR PRICE LIST CHANGE.] Intrastate long 
 19.15  distance providers may: 
 19.16     (1) decrease the rate for a service, or make any change in 
 19.17  a tariff or price list that results in a decrease in rates, 
 19.18  effective without notice to its customers or the commission; and 
 19.19     (2) offer a new service, increase the rate for a service, 
 19.20  or change the terms, conditions, rules, and regulations of its 
 19.21  service offering effective upon notice to its customers. 
 19.22     Subd. 3.  [INTRASTATE LONG DISTANCE SERVICE RATES.] No 
 19.23  intrastate long distance service provider shall offer 
 19.24  telecommunications service within the state upon terms or rates 
 19.25  that are unreasonably discriminatory.  An intrastate long 
 19.26  distance service provider may offer or provide volume, term, and 
 19.27  cost-based discounts or may offer or provide unique pricing to 
 19.28  certain customers or to certain geographic locations for special 
 19.29  promotions, and may pass through any state, municipal, or local 
 19.30  taxes in the specific geographic areas from which the taxes 
 19.31  originate.  Differences in the cost of providing intrastate long 
 19.32  distance service may justify a different price for a particular 
 19.33  customer or group of customers.  
 19.34     Subd. 4.  [AREA SERVED.] No intrastate long distance 
 19.35  service provider may unreasonably limit its service offerings to 
 19.36  particular geographic areas unless facilities necessary for the 
 20.1   service are not available. 
 20.2      Subd. 5.  [DISCONTINUATION OF SERVICE TO RESALE 
 20.3   CARRIER.] An intrastate long distance service provider must 
 20.4   first obtain commission approval before discontinuing service to 
 20.5   another intrastate long distance service provider if end users 
 20.6   would be deprived of service because of the discontinuance. 
 20.7      Sec. 5.  [237A.10] [EXTENDED AREA SERVICE.] 
 20.8      Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] This section governs the 
 20.9   establishment of toll-free calling areas. 
 20.10     Subd. 2.  [PETITION.] If 15 percent or 600 of the customers 
 20.11  of an incumbent local service provider, whichever is less, file 
 20.12  a petition with the commission for the creation of an extended 
 20.13  toll-free dialing area by adding an area that is adjacent to the 
 20.14  toll-free, basic flat-rate service territory of the incumbent 
 20.15  local service provider, then the commission shall investigate 
 20.16  the petition and issue an order as provided in this section. 
 20.17     Subd. 3.  [TRAFFIC STUDY.] On verifying that a petition has 
 20.18  the requisite number of valid signatures and that the petition 
 20.19  relates to an adjacent area, the commission shall perform a 
 20.20  traffic study to determine if at least 50 percent of the 
 20.21  customers in the petitioning exchange make five or more calls 
 20.22  per month to the exchange or local calling area to which 
 20.23  toll-free service is requested.  If the commission determines 
 20.24  this standard has been met, then a community of interest is 
 20.25  deemed to exist. 
 20.26     Subd. 4.  [RATES.] On determining that a community of 
 20.27  interest exists, the commission shall calculate any necessary 
 20.28  extended area service rate additive.  Rates associated with the 
 20.29  establishment of an extended toll-free area must not provide for 
 20.30  the recovery of lost access charges, and need not guarantee 
 20.31  income or revenue neutrality between telecommunications service 
 20.32  providers.  An extended area service rate additive must be based 
 20.33  on actual costs to implement the service, including a reasonable 
 20.34  profit, plus a reasonable contribution toward common costs.  The 
 20.35  commission shall adjust all existing extended area service rate 
 20.36  additives to comport with this subdivision. 
 21.1      Subd. 5.  [PUBLIC INTEREST.] (a) On determining that a 
 21.2   community of interest exists, the commission shall issue an 
 21.3   order granting the petition unless it finds that granting the 
 21.4   petition is not in the public interest. 
 21.5      (b) In determining if granting the order is in the public 
 21.6   interest, the commission shall consider: 
 21.7      (1) the amount of the rate additives calculated under 
 21.8   subdivision 5; 
 21.9      (2) fairness to consumers in the petitioned and petitioning 
 21.10  exchange; and 
 21.11     (3) any other factors the commission deems relevant.  [New] 
 21.12     Sec. 6.  [237A.11] [ESTABLISHMENT EXEMPT FROM REGULATION.] 
 21.13     Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] For purposes of this section, 
 21.14  "establishment" means an individual hotel, motel, restaurant, 
 21.15  lodging house, boarding house, resort, or place of refreshment 
 21.16  licensed under chapter 157. 
 21.17     Subd. 2.  [EXEMPTION; CONDITIONS.] An establishment that 
 21.18  provides telecommunications service to patrons on the premises 
 21.19  of the establishment is not subject to regulation under this 
 21.20  chapter, except that the establishment: 
 21.21     (1) shall provide notice of charges and service providers 
 21.22  to patrons as required in section 325F.99; and 
 21.23     (2) is subject to the procedures of section 237A.23.  
 21.24  [237.067] 
 21.25     Sec. 7.  [237A.12] [PRIVATE SHARED TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
 21.26  SERVICE.] 
 21.27     Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] For the purposes of this 
 21.28  section, "private shared telecommunications service" means 
 21.29  telecommunications services and equipment provided (1) within a 
 21.30  user group located in discrete private premises, (2) in building 
 21.31  complexes, campuses, or high-rise buildings, (3) by a commercial 
 21.32  shared services provider or by a user association, and (4) 
 21.33  through privately owned customer premises equipment and 
 21.34  associated data-processing and information-management services. 
 21.35  The term includes the service connections provided to the 
 21.36  facilities of a telecommunications service provider. 
 22.1      Subd. 2.  [REQUIREMENTS.] A person who owns or operates a 
 22.2   building, property, complex, or other facility where a private 
 22.3   shared telecommunications system is operated shall establish a 
 22.4   single demarcation point for services and facilities provided by 
 22.5   telecommunications service providers.  The obligation of a 
 22.6   carrier of last resort to provide service to a customer under 
 22.7   section 237A.44 at a location where a private shared 
 22.8   telecommunication system is operated is limited to providing 
 22.9   telecommunications service and facilities up to the demarcation 
 22.10  point established for the property where the private shared 
 22.11  telecommunications system is located. 
 22.12     Subd. 3.  [ACCESS TO ALTERNATIVE PROVIDER.] A tenant of a 
 22.13  building, property, complex, or other facility where a private 
 22.14  shared telecommunications system is operated may establish a 
 22.15  direct connection to and receive telecommunications services 
 22.16  from any provider.  At the request of a tenant where a private 
 22.17  shared telecommunications system is operated, the owner or 
 22.18  manager of the property shall make facilities or conduit space 
 22.19  available to the tenant to allow the tenant to make separate 
 22.20  connection to and to receive telecommunications service directly 
 22.21  from any telecommunications service provider.  The tenant has 
 22.22  the choice of installing the tenant's own facilities or using 
 22.23  the existing facilities.  The facilities or conduit space must 
 22.24  be provided by the owner or operator to the tenant at a 
 22.25  reasonable rate and on reasonable terms and conditions.  It is 
 22.26  the obligation of the tenant to arrange for premises wire, 
 22.27  cable, or other equipment necessary to connect the tenant's 
 22.28  telecommunications equipment with the facilities of the 
 22.29  telecommunications service provider at the location of the 
 22.30  demarcation point. 
 22.31     Subd. 4.  [ENFORCEMENT.] If the commission finds that the 
 22.32  owner or operator of a private shared telecommunications system 
 22.33  has failed to comply with a request under this section, the 
 22.34  commission may order the owner or operator to make facilities or 
 22.35  conduit space available sufficient to allow the tenant to make 
 22.36  separate connection with the telecommunications service 
 23.1   provider, and provide the services at reasonable prices and on 
 23.2   reasonable terms and conditions. 
 23.3      Subd. 5.  [EXEMPTION.] A provider of private shared 
 23.4   telecommunications service is exempt from section 237A.03 if the 
 23.5   telecommunications service is only provided to tenants or for 
 23.6   the provider's own use. 
 23.7      Subd. 6.  [SERVICE BY PROVIDER OF LAST RESORT.] The carrier 
 23.8   of last resort under section 237A.44 shall provide essential 
 23.9   telecommunications service to anyone located within a shared 
 23.10  services building at the demarcation point within a reasonable 
 23.11  time upon request.  [237.68] 
 23.12     Sec. 8.  [237A.13] [CROSS SUBSIDIZATION.] 
 23.13     Unless approved by the commission, a local service provider 
 23.14  may not subsidize the price of its telecommunications services 
 23.15  subject to actual competition with revenue from 
 23.16  telecommunications services not subject to actual competition 
 23.17  through allocations of costs, cost-sharing agreements, or other 
 23.18  means, direct or indirect.  [237.62, subd 2] 
 23.19     Sec. 9.  [237A.14] [PREDATORY PRICING.] 
 23.20     Subdivision 1.  [PREDATORY PRICING COMPLAINTS.] (a) A local 
 23.21  service provider may file a complaint with the commission at any 
 23.22  time alleging that another local service provider is engaging in 
 23.23  predatory pricing.  Any complaint filed against a local service 
 23.24  provider, 50 percent of whose statewide customers are subject to 
 23.25  actual competition with respect to essential services, must be 
 23.26  dismissed by the commission.  In determining whether a local 
 23.27  service provider is engaging in predatory pricing, the 
 23.28  commission shall apply the applicable standard in paragraphs (b) 
 23.29  and (c). 
 23.30     (b) If the telecommunications service in question is 
 23.31  subject to actual competition with respect to 50 percent of the 
 23.32  customers in the local service area in question, the local 
 23.33  service provider whose pricing is being challenged may provide 
 23.34  its service at any rate, as long as its total service revenue 
 23.35  does not fall below its total service long-run incremental cost 
 23.36  for the local service area in question. 
 24.1      (c) If a local service competitor entering a new market has 
 24.2   facilities that are capable of serving 50 percent of the 
 24.3   customers in the local service area in question, or if the 
 24.4   competitor has presubscribed 50 percent of the customers in the 
 24.5   local service area, the incumbent local service provider may 
 24.6   price the telecommunications service being challenged at or 
 24.7   above the price charged by the competitor for the competing 
 24.8   service, as long as the rate does not cause the incumbent local 
 24.9   service provider's overall revenue to fall below its total 
 24.10  service long-run incremental cost for the local service area in 
 24.11  question. 
 24.12     (d) For the purposes of this section, a local service 
 24.13  provider is not counted as a competitive provider unless the 
 24.14  commission finds that the local service provider provides 
 24.15  essential services to the customers within the local service 
 24.16  area in question or the local service provider is an eligible 
 24.17  telecommunications carrier under section 237A.42, subdivision 2. 
 24.18     Subd. 2.  [REMEDIES AND BURDEN OF PROOF.] The commission 
 24.19  may stay any rate decrease until a complaint is resolved under 
 24.20  this section.  Once a prima facie case of predatory pricing is 
 24.21  established by a local service provider, the burden of proof 
 24.22  lies with the local service provider whose pricing practices are 
 24.23  being challenged to show that it is not engaging in predatory 
 24.24  pricing.  The commission may order any equitable relief it deems 
 24.25  necessary to resolve instances of predatory pricing, including 
 24.26  rate reductions, rate freezes, and penalties under section 
 24.27  237A.35. 
 24.28     Sec. 10.  [EXISTING AFOR PLANS.] 
 24.29     Any alternative form of regulation (AFOR) plan approved 
 24.30  before the effective date of this chapter by the commission 
 24.31  pursuant to former statutory sections 237.76 to 237.775 may 
 24.32  remain in effect until the expiration date provided for in the 
 24.33  plan, but local service providers operating under those former 
 24.34  statutory sections are subject to section 237A.08.  
 24.35     Sec. 11.  [WAIVER OF TARIFF REQUIREMENTS.] 
 24.36     On determining that competitive market conditions exist 
 25.1   with respect to any telecommunications service under its 
 25.2   jurisdiction, the commission may waive the requirements or 
 25.3   applicability of sections 237A.03, subdivision 2, clause (7); 
 25.4   237A.08, subdivision 12; and 237A.09, subdivision 1.  Any price 
 25.5   list or other information filed with the commission or 
 25.6   department after a waiver takes effect has no legal effect and 
 25.7   may not be used as a defense against any action for breach of 
 25.8   contract. 
 25.9                              ARTICLE 3 
 25.10                        CONSUMER PROTECTION 
 25.11     Section 1.  [237A.17] [RETAIL RULES.] 
 25.12     (a) The commission shall adopt new retail consumer 
 25.13  protection and service quality rules that apply to 
 25.14  telecommunications service providers and cable service 
 25.15  providers.  The commission shall determine whether some or all 
 25.16  of the rules apply to some or all of the other 
 25.17  telecommunications providers based on whether the service 
 25.18  quality provided by the service provider is dependent on the 
 25.19  service quality provided by a wholesale service provider.  
 25.20     (b) The rules must, at a minimum: 
 25.21     (1) provide for the continued provision of local emergency 
 25.22  telephone services under chapter 403; 
 25.23     (2) require complete and accurate disclosure, both in 
 25.24  English and in languages other than English, of terms and 
 25.25  conditions of service and rights and responsibilities of 
 25.26  customers and require that disclosure be made in a manner and 
 25.27  format that is conspicuous and in plain language; 
 25.28     (3) govern requests for tracers made by persons who receive 
 25.29  harassing telephone calls; 
 25.30     (4) require bills to be provided in a plain language format 
 25.31  and to contain, at a minimum, conspicuous display of the 
 25.32  following: 
 25.33     (i) the toll-free telephone number for customer service; 
 25.34     (ii) the telephone number of the appropriate state agency 
 25.35  to contact for information or dispute resolution; and 
 25.36     (iii) a clear delineation between optional and nonoptional 
 26.1   services; 
 26.2      (5) govern deposits, fees, and payment agreements; 
 26.3      (6) govern suspension, disconnection, and reconnection of 
 26.4   service that, at a minimum, must: 
 26.5      (i) prohibit suspension or disconnection of service for 
 26.6   nonpayment of interLATA or intraLATA toll services or any other 
 26.7   unrelated services; and 
 26.8      (ii) safeguard from suspension or disconnection, or require 
 26.9   reconnection of, service to households in which any resident is 
 26.10  60 years of age or older, has a disability, is a victim of 
 26.11  domestic abuse, or where a certified medical emergency exists; 
 26.12  and 
 26.13     (7) establish specific service quality standards. 
 26.14     Sec. 2.  [237A.18] [DENIAL OF SERVICE.] 
 26.15     Any telecommunications service or cable service provider 
 26.16  that denies service to a customer shall explain in writing to 
 26.17  the customer the grounds for the denial of service. 
 26.18     Sec. 3.  [237A.19] [BILLING.] 
 26.19     (a) All telecommunications and cable service bills must 
 26.20  conspicuously include on the front of the bill the toll-free 
 26.21  telephone number for the company's customer service center and 
 26.22  the telephone number of the attorney general's consumer advocacy 
 26.23  division. 
 26.24     (b) A telecommunications or cable service subscriber may 
 26.25  designate a third party to receive and pay their invoices for 
 26.26  telecommunications and cable services. 
 26.27     (c) All bills must be submitted to customers within 60 days 
 26.28  of receiving service. 
 26.29     Sec. 4.  [237A.20] [DISCLOSURE OF LOCAL SERVICE OPTIONS.] 
 26.30     Subdivision 1.  [NOTICE TO LOCAL RESIDENTIAL 
 26.31  CUSTOMERS.] Within ten days after a customer requests service or 
 26.32  requests a change of service, the telecommunications service 
 26.33  provider from whom the customer has requested service shall 
 26.34  provide the customer, in a form and manner easy for the customer 
 26.35  to understand, the terms and conditions of all service options 
 26.36  available to that customer.  The commission shall approve a form 
 27.1   that every telecommunications service provider shall use in 
 27.2   providing this information to customers.  [237.66, subd 1] 
 27.3      Subd. 2.  [NEW PROVIDER; CUSTOMER NOTICE, PRIOR 
 27.4   AUTHORIZATION.] Each residential and commercial long-distance 
 27.5   customer may elect to require that the local services provider 
 27.6   serving the customer receive authorization from the customer 
 27.7   before a request to serve that customer from a different 
 27.8   telecommunications service provider than the provider currently 
 27.9   serving the customer is processed.  [237.66, subd 1a] 
 27.10     Subd. 3.  [TIMING OF NOTICE; NEW CUSTOMER.] For new 
 27.11  installations, the customer's local service provider shall 
 27.12  notify the customer of the right described in subdivision 2 when 
 27.13  the customer initially requests local long-distance service.  A 
 27.14  customer notification of the rights set forth in this section 
 27.15  must be provided utilizing uniform, competitively neutral 
 27.16  language.  The form, content, and style of the authorization 
 27.17  must be consistent with federal law and regulation and use 
 27.18  language provided and approved by the commission.  [237.66, subd 
 27.19  1c] 
 27.20     Subd. 4.  [CHANGE OF ELECTION.] A customer may change the 
 27.21  election under subdivision 2 at any time by notifying the local 
 27.22  services provider of that decision.  No separate charge may be 
 27.23  imposed on the customer for electing to exercise the right 
 27.24  described in subdivision 2 or to change that election.  [237.66, 
 27.25  subd 1d] 
 27.26     Subd. 5.  [CALL BLOCKING.] A local services provider, when 
 27.27  a residential customer initially requests service, shall advise 
 27.28  each residential customer of the availability of all blocking 
 27.29  options including 900 number blocking and international 
 27.30  long-distance blocking.  [237.66, subd 2a] 
 27.31     Subd. 6.  [ENFORCEMENT.] If, after an expedited procedure 
 27.32  conducted under section 237A.38, the commission finds that a 
 27.33  telecommunications service provider is failing to provide 
 27.34  disclosure as required under subdivision 1, or that a local 
 27.35  service provider is failing to provide the notification required 
 27.36  under subdivision 3, it shall order such provider to take 
 28.1   corrective action as necessary, and may order penalties under 
 28.2   section 237A.34.  [237.66, subd 3] 
 28.3      Sec. 5.  [237A.21] [NOTICE OF RATE INCREASE.] 
 28.4      Subdivision 1.  [ADVANCE NOTICE REQUIRED.] No 
 28.5   telecommunications or cable service provider shall increase the 
 28.6   rate for a service, or change the terms, conditions, rules, and 
 28.7   regulations of its service without providing advance notice to 
 28.8   its customers, as required by commission rule. 
 28.9      Subd. 2.  [FORM OF NOTICE.] A telecommunications or cable 
 28.10  service provider shall give notice to its customers in writing 
 28.11  with bill inserts.  Notices of price increases for 
 28.12  telecommunications or cable services must prominently display 
 28.13  the notice of price increase on the customer's bill.  Customer 
 28.14  notices for increases of rates for telecommunications services 
 28.15  must include as a heading, "NOTICE OF PRICE INCREASE." 
 28.16     Sec. 6.  [237A.22] [ANTISLAMMING.] 
 28.17     Subdivision 1.  [ANTISLAMMING DUTIES OF LOCAL SERVICE 
 28.18  PROVIDER.] If a customer has elected to exercise the right 
 28.19  described in section 237A.20, subdivision 2, the local service 
 28.20  provider serving the customer shall not process a request to 
 28.21  serve the customer by another local long-distance service 
 28.22  provider without prior authorization from the customer.  If a 
 28.23  customer has not elected to exercise the right described in that 
 28.24  subdivision, the local service provider may process a request to 
 28.25  serve the customer by another local long-distance service 
 28.26  provider. 
 28.27     Subd. 2.  [ANTISLAMMING DUTIES OF SOLICITING CARRIER.] (a) 
 28.28  Subject to subdivision 1, a telecommunications service provider 
 28.29  may request that the local service provider serving a customer 
 28.30  process a change in that customer's local long-distance or local 
 28.31  service provider, if the customer has authorized the change 
 28.32  either orally or in writing signed by the customer.  Prior to 
 28.33  requesting a change in a customer's local long-distance or local 
 28.34  service provider, the local long-distance or local service 
 28.35  provider must confirm: 
 28.36     (1) the customer's identity with information unique to the 
 29.1   customer, unless the customer refused to provide identifying 
 29.2   information, then that fact should be noted; 
 29.3      (2) that the customer has been informed of the offering 
 29.4   made by the local long-distance or local service provider; 
 29.5      (3) that the customer understands that the customer is 
 29.6   being requested to change local long-distance, local service 
 29.7   providers, or both; 
 29.8      (4) that the customer has the authority to authorize the 
 29.9   change; and 
 29.10     (5) that the customer agrees to the change. 
 29.11     (b) After requesting a change of a customer's local 
 29.12  long-distance or local service provider, the local long-distance 
 29.13  service provider must: 
 29.14     (1) notify the customer in writing that the request has 
 29.15  been processed; and 
 29.16     (2) be able to produce, upon complaint by the customer, 
 29.17  evidence that the local long-distance or local service provider 
 29.18  verified the authorization by the customer to change the 
 29.19  customer's local long-distance or local service provider.  If 
 29.20  the company used a negative checkoff verification procedure as 
 29.21  defined in subdivision 4, paragraph (c), the evidence must 
 29.22  include a tape recording of the initial oral authorization. 
 29.23     Subd. 3.  [PENALTY FOR SLAMMING.] If the local 
 29.24  long-distance or local service provider is not able to present, 
 29.25  upon complaint by the customer, evidence that complies with 
 29.26  subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clause (2), the change in service 
 29.27  is deemed to be unauthorized from the date the local 
 29.28  long-distance or local service provider requested the change; 
 29.29  then, the local long-distance or local service provider shall: 
 29.30     (1) bear all costs of immediately returning the customer to 
 29.31  the service of the customer's previous local long-distance or 
 29.32  local service provider; and 
 29.33     (2) bear all costs of serving that customer during the 
 29.34  period of unauthorized service. 
 29.35     Subd. 4.  [CUSTOMER AUTHORIZATION VERIFICATION.] (a) 
 29.36  Customer authorization for a change in the customer's local 
 30.1   long-distance or local service provider may be verified using a 
 30.2   verification procedure that complies with federal law or 
 30.3   regulation.  Except as provided in paragraph (b), the 
 30.4   requirement that the local long-distance or local service 
 30.5   provider be able to produce evidence of customer authorization 
 30.6   is satisfied if the local long-distance or local service 
 30.7   provider uses a federally authorized verification procedure. 
 30.8      (b) If federal law or regulation authorizes a local 
 30.9   long-distance or local service provider to use a negative 
 30.10  checkoff verification procedure, and the local long-distance or 
 30.11  local service provider does so, the local long-distance or local 
 30.12  service provider must be able to produce a tape recording of the 
 30.13  initial oral authorization by the customer to change local 
 30.14  long-distance or local service providers as evidence of the 
 30.15  authorization.  The initial oral authorization must include 
 30.16  confirmation of the items listed in subdivision 2, paragraph (a).
 30.17     (c) "Negative checkoff" means a verification procedure that 
 30.18  consists of: 
 30.19     (1) an initial oral authorization by the customer to change 
 30.20  the local long-distance or local service provider; and 
 30.21     (2) a mailing to the customer by the soliciting local 
 30.22  long-distance or local service provider regarding the change in 
 30.23  service providers that informs the customer that if the customer 
 30.24  fails to cancel the change in service providers, the change is 
 30.25  deemed authorized and verified.  [237.661] 
 30.26     Sec. 7.  [237A.23] [NOTICE AND DISCLOSURE BY LONG-DISTANCE 
 30.27  PROVIDERS.] 
 30.28     Subdivision 1.  [INFORMATION REQUIRED.] When contacted by a 
 30.29  customer regarding the purchase of local long-distance 
 30.30  telecommunications services, or when soliciting customers via 
 30.31  mail or telephone, a local long-distance service provider shall 
 30.32  provide the customer with the following information, if the 
 30.33  service is being offered to the customer, about the service 
 30.34  offering either orally or in writing: 
 30.35     (1) the price or range of prices of interstate message toll 
 30.36  service accessed by dialing "1+" or "10-xxx," including any 
 31.1   difference in prices for evening, night, or weekend calls; 
 31.2      (2) the price or range of prices of intrastate inter-LATA 
 31.3   message toll service accessed by dialing "1+" or "10-xxx," 
 31.4   including any difference in prices for evening, night, or 
 31.5   weekend calls; 
 31.6      (3) the price or range of prices of intrastate intra-LATA 
 31.7   message toll service accessed by dialing "1+" or "10-xxx," 
 31.8   including any difference in prices for evening, night, or 
 31.9   weekend calls; 
 31.10     (4) any minimum volume requirements, fixed flat fees, 
 31.11  service charges, surcharges, taxes, termination charges, or 
 31.12  other non-service-specific charges, including the fact that the 
 31.13  local long-distance service provider may charge a one-time fee 
 31.14  for changing local long-distance service providers; and 
 31.15     (5) any special promotional rate or promotional offering 
 31.16  related to the services or prices described in clauses (1) to 
 31.17  (4), including any limitations or restrictions on the 
 31.18  promotional rates or offerings. 
 31.19     Subd. 2.  [PRICES, TERMS, AND RESTRICTIONS IN WRITING.] (a) 
 31.20  If a customer agrees to purchase local long-distance 
 31.21  telecommunications services on a presubscription basis, the 
 31.22  provider shall send the customer written information regarding 
 31.23  services subscribed to, containing: 
 31.24     (1) the information regarding prices and charges described 
 31.25  in subdivision 1, clauses (1) to (5); 
 31.26     (2) the price for calls placed with a calling card issued 
 31.27  to the customer by the provider and any surcharge for placing 
 31.28  calls with a calling card; 
 31.29     (3) the price for calls charged to the customer when a 
 31.30  personal "1-800" number for local long-distance services issued 
 31.31  to the customer by the provider is used; and 
 31.32     (4) the price of directory assistance calls. 
 31.33     (b) This written information must be sent to the customer 
 31.34  within seven business days from the date of the verification of 
 31.35  the customer's authorization, unless federal law or regulation 
 31.36  requires notice to be sent by an earlier date. 
 32.1      Subd. 3.  [FILED TARIFF NO DEFENSE.] That a local 
 32.2   long-distance service provider has intrastate tariffs or price 
 32.3   lists for the services listed in subdivisions 1 and 2 on file 
 32.4   with the commission or department is not a defense to any action 
 32.5   brought for failure to disclose intrastate prices for which 
 32.6   disclosure is required under this section.  [237.662] 
 32.7      Sec. 8.  [237A.24] [LOADING.] 
 32.8      (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) or (c), a 
 32.9   telecommunications service provider shall not charge a telephone 
 32.10  service subscriber, as defined in section 325F.692, for a 
 32.11  telecommunications service that is not required by the 
 32.12  commission to be offered and for which the subscriber did not 
 32.13  explicitly contract. 
 32.14     (b) If a charge is assessed on a per-use basis for a 
 32.15  service described in paragraph (a), the charge must be applied 
 32.16  as a credit to the subscriber's next monthly bill, if the 
 32.17  subscriber notifies the telecommunications service provider that 
 32.18  the subscriber did not utilize the service or did not authorize 
 32.19  the utilization of the service. 
 32.20     (c) A telecommunications service provider that receives a 
 32.21  notification from a telecommunications service subscriber under 
 32.22  paragraph (b) shall inform the subscriber of the ability to 
 32.23  block the services from future use by the subscriber, and shall 
 32.24  block the services from future use by the subscriber, if the 
 32.25  subscriber so requests.  If a subscriber requests that the 
 32.26  telecommunications service provider not block the service or 
 32.27  later requests to have the block lifted, the subscriber is 
 32.28  responsible for charges caused by the future utilization of that 
 32.29  service.  The telecommunications service provider shall not 
 32.30  charge a recurring fee for blocking the service.  [237.663] 
 32.31     Sec. 9.  [237A.25] [ALARM TRANSMISSION TELEPHONE DEVICE; 
 32.32  RULES.] 
 32.33     Subdivision 1.  [PERMISSION REQUIRED.] A person desiring to 
 32.34  install or use an automatic, electrical, or mechanical device or 
 32.35  attachment to a telephone that reproduces a taped or prerecorded 
 32.36  message to report a police, fire, or other emergency to an 
 33.1   official emergency-reporting telephone number shall obtain 
 33.2   permission, in writing, from the sheriff of the county in which 
 33.3   located or the police chief or fire chief of the municipality 
 33.4   into whose emergency telephone number the attachment or device 
 33.5   is connected. 
 33.6      Subd. 2.  [CONDITIONS FOR CONNECTION.] The sheriff, police 
 33.7   chief, or fire chief may determine the conditions, if any, under 
 33.8   which the device or attachment may be connected, provided (1) 
 33.9   the conditions are reasonable in accordance with local 
 33.10  conditions and (2) the device or attachment complies with 
 33.11  commission rules. 
 33.12     Subd. 3.  [REMOVAL.] When the sheriff, police chief, or 
 33.13  fire chief has knowledge of the use of an attachment or device 
 33.14  not operated or maintained in accordance with this section, that 
 33.15  official may order its removal. 
 33.16     Subd. 4.  [PENALTY.] Violation of this section is a 
 33.17  misdemeanor.  [237.47] 
 33.18     Sec. 10.  [237A.26] [TRACER; HARASSING TELEPHONE CALL; 
 33.19  RULES.] 
 33.20     The commission shall adopt new or maintain existing rules, 
 33.21  as necessary, to govern how telephone companies respond to 
 33.22  requests for tracers made by persons who allege receiving 
 33.23  harassing telephone calls.  The rules must address when a 
 33.24  request for a tracer may be denied or delayed.  [237.069] 
 33.25                             ARTICLE 4 
 33.26                 COMMISSION PROCESS AND PROCEDURES 
 33.27     Section 1.  [237A.28] [INVESTIGATION.] 
 33.28     Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSION INVESTIGATIONS.] Subject to the 
 33.29  provisions of section 237A.08, the commission, with or without 
 33.30  notice, may investigate cable and telecommunications service 
 33.31  providers for statute or rule violations, claims that service 
 33.32  cannot be obtained or that the service is inadequate, or a 
 33.33  matter relating to a cable or telecommunications service. 
 33.34     Subd. 2.  [PROCEDURE AFTER INVESTIGATION.] If, after making 
 33.35  an investigation, the commission finds that a significant 
 33.36  factual issue raised has not been resolved to its satisfaction, 
 34.1   the commission shall order that a contested case hearing be 
 34.2   conducted under chapter 14 unless the complainant, the cable or 
 34.3   telecommunications service provider, and the commission agree 
 34.4   that an expedited hearing under section 237A.38 is appropriate. 
 34.5      Subd. 3.  [ORDER RESPECTING SERVICE.] After a proceeding 
 34.6   under subdivision 2, the commission shall make an order 
 34.7   respecting the cable or telecommunications service that is just 
 34.8   and reasonable, including orders that infrastructure be deployed 
 34.9   or cable or telecommunications services be offered.  
 34.10     Subd. 4.  [SERVICE; NOTICE.] A copy of an order issued 
 34.11  under this section must be served upon the person against whom 
 34.12  it runs or the person's attorney, and notice of the order must 
 34.13  be given to the other parties to the proceedings or their 
 34.14  attorneys.  [237.081] 
 34.15     Sec. 2.  [237A.29] [TRANSCRIBED COPY OF RECORD, EXPENSE.] 
 34.16     The commission shall keep a full and complete record of any 
 34.17  formal investigation or hearing.  Testimony received or offered 
 34.18  must be recorded in any manner determined by the commission.  A 
 34.19  transcribed copy of the record must be furnished to a party upon 
 34.20  payment of the expense of furnishing the transcribed copy. 
 34.21     When an appeal is taken from a commission order under this 
 34.22  chapter, the commission shall promptly have a certified 
 34.23  transcript made of all proceedings, all pleadings and files, and 
 34.24  all testimony taken or offered before it upon which the order 
 34.25  was based, showing particularly what evidence offered was 
 34.26  excluded, if any.  The transcript must be filed with the court 
 34.27  administrator of the court where the appeal is pending.  
 34.28  [237.24] 
 34.29     Sec. 3.  [237A.30] [APPEAL FROM DECISION OF COMMISSION.] 
 34.30     Any party to a proceeding before the commission may appeal 
 34.31  from the order in accordance with chapter 14.  [237.25] 
 34.32     Sec. 4.  [237A.31] [ORDER FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE.] 
 34.33     If an appeal is not taken from an order of the commission, 
 34.34  then in all subsequent litigation arising between the state and 
 34.35  a telecommunications or cable service provider or between a 
 34.36  private party and a cable or telecommunications service 
 35.1   provider, the order is final and conclusive.  [237.26] 
 35.2      Sec. 5.  [237A.32] [COMPELLING OBEDIENCE.] 
 35.3      When a telecommunications or cable service provider fails 
 35.4   to comply with a law of the state or an order of the commission 
 35.5   after it has become final, or an order or judgment of the 
 35.6   district court, the court of appeals, or the supreme court in 
 35.7   any case taken to any of the courts on appeal after the judgment 
 35.8   or order has become final, the commission shall apply to the 
 35.9   district court in the name of the state in a county in which the 
 35.10  cable or telecommunications service provider is situated, for a 
 35.11  mandatory injunction or other appropriate writ to compel 
 35.12  obedience to the law, order, or judgment.  The district court 
 35.13  shall punish disobedience of its orders in the enforcement 
 35.14  proceedings as for contempt of court.  [237.27] 
 35.15     Sec. 6.  [237A.33] [INFORMATION SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE 
 35.16  ORDER.] 
 35.17     In commission meetings during which information that is 
 35.18  subject to a protective order is discussed, the commission shall 
 35.19  employ the procedures of section 14.60 to close to all persons 
 35.20  who are not authorized under law or the protective order to 
 35.21  obtain the information that portion of the meeting during which 
 35.22  the information will be discussed.  The commission shall take 
 35.23  other appropriate measures to ensure that the data is not 
 35.24  disclosed to persons who are not authorized to obtain the 
 35.25  information under law or under the protective order.  [237.115] 
 35.26     Sec. 7.  [237A.34] [ENFORCEMENT.] 
 35.27     Subdivision 1.  [ACTIONS.] This chapter and rules and 
 35.28  orders of the commission adopted under this chapter may be 
 35.29  enforced by any one or combination of criminal prosecution, 
 35.30  action to recover civil penalties, injunction, action to compel 
 35.31  performance, and other appropriate action.  
 35.32     Subd. 2.  [CIVIL PENALTY.] A person who knowingly and 
 35.33  intentionally violates a provision of this chapter or a rule or 
 35.34  order of the commission adopted under this chapter shall forfeit 
 35.35  and pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be determined by 
 35.36  the court, of at least $100 and not more than $5,000 for each 
 36.1   day of each violation.  
 36.2      Subd. 3.  [CIVIL PENALTY FOR LOCAL COMPETITION VIOLATION.] 
 36.3   Notwithstanding subdivision 2, a person who knowingly and 
 36.4   intentionally commits a violation of section 237A.06 shall 
 36.5   forfeit and pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be 
 36.6   determined by the court, of at least $100 and not more than 
 36.7   $55,000 for each day of each violation.  In determining the 
 36.8   amount of the penalty under this subdivision, the court shall 
 36.9   consider the factors in section 237A.35, subdivision 2.  
 36.10     Subd. 4.  [CIVIL PENALTY PROCEEDS DEPOSITED IN 
 36.11  TREASURY.] The civil penalties provided for in this section and 
 36.12  in section 237A.35 may be recovered by a civil action brought by 
 36.13  the attorney general in the name of the state.  Amounts 
 36.14  recovered under this section must be paid into the state 
 36.15  treasury.  [237.461] 
 36.16     Sec. 8.  [237A.35] [COMPETITIVE ENFORCEMENT; ADMINISTRATIVE 
 36.17  PENALTY ORDERS.] 
 36.18     Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY TO ISSUE PENALTY ORDERS.] (a) 
 36.19  The commission may issue an order administratively assessing 
 36.20  monetary penalties for knowing and intentional violations of: 
 36.21     (1) sections 237A.06, 237A.88, and any rules adopted under 
 36.22  those sections; 
 36.23     (2) any standards, limitations, or conditions established 
 36.24  in a commission order pursuant to section 237A.06; 
 36.25     (3) an approved interconnection agreement if the violation 
 36.26  is material; and 
 36.27     (4) any duty or obligation of an incumbent local service 
 36.28  provider imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, section 
 36.29  251, paragraph (a), (b), or (c), that relates to local service 
 36.30  provided in the state. 
 36.31     (b) The penalty order must be issued as provided in this 
 36.32  section.  [237.462, subd 1] 
 36.33     Subd. 2.  [AMOUNT OF PENALTY; CONSIDERATIONS.] (a) The 
 36.34  commission may issue an order assessing a penalty of between 
 36.35  $100 and $10,000 per day for each violation. 
 36.36     (b) In determining the amount of a penalty, the commission 
 37.1   shall consider: 
 37.2      (1) the willfulness or intent of the violation; 
 37.3      (2) the gravity of the violation, including the harm to 
 37.4   customers or competitors; 
 37.5      (3) the history of past violations, including the gravity 
 37.6   of past violations, similarity of previous violations to the 
 37.7   current violation to be penalized, number of previous 
 37.8   violations, the response of the person to the most recent 
 37.9   previous violation identified, and the time lapsed since the 
 37.10  last violation; 
 37.11     (4) the number of violations; 
 37.12     (5) the economic benefit gained by the person committing 
 37.13  the violation; 
 37.14     (6) any corrective action taken or planned by the person 
 37.15  committing the violation; 
 37.16     (7) the annual revenue and assets of the company committing 
 37.17  the violation, including the assets and revenue of any 
 37.18  affiliates that have 50 percent or more common ownership or that 
 37.19  own more than 50 percent of the company; 
 37.20     (8) the financial ability of the company, including any 
 37.21  affiliates that have 50 percent or more common ownership or that 
 37.22  own more than 50 percent of the company, to pay the penalty; and 
 37.23     (9) other factors that justice may require, as determined 
 37.24  by the commission.  The commission shall specifically identify 
 37.25  any additional factors in the commission's order.  [237.462, 
 37.26  subd 2] 
 37.27     Subd. 3.  [BURDEN OF PROOF.] The commission may not assess 
 37.28  a penalty under this section unless the record in the proceeding 
 37.29  establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the penalty 
 37.30  is justified based on the factors identified in subdivision 2.  
 37.31  [237.462, subd 3] 
 37.32     Subd. 4.  [CONTENTS OF ORDER.] An order assessing an 
 37.33  administrative penalty under this section must include: 
 37.34     (1) a concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute 
 37.35  a violation; 
 37.36     (2) a reference to the section of the statute, rule, or 
 38.1   order that has been violated; 
 38.2      (3) a statement of the amount of the administrative penalty 
 38.3   to be imposed and the factors upon which the penalty is based; 
 38.4   and 
 38.5      (4) a statement of the person's right to review the order.  
 38.6   [237.462, subd 4] 
 38.7      Subd. 5.  [PENALTY STAYED.] A penalty imposed under this 
 38.8   section is not payable earlier than 31 days after the commission 
 38.9   issues its final order assessing the penalty.  The person 
 38.10  subject to the penalty may appeal the commission's penalty order 
 38.11  under sections 14.63 to 14.68.  If the person does appeal the 
 38.12  commission's penalty order, the penalty is payable only after 
 38.13  either all appeals have been exhausted or the person withdraws 
 38.14  the appeal.  [237.462, subd 5] 
 38.15     Subd. 6.  [EXPEDITED PROCEEDING.] (a) The commission may 
 38.16  order an expedited proceeding under this subdivision and section 
 38.17  237A.38, in lieu of a contested case under chapter 14, to 
 38.18  develop an evidentiary record in any proceeding that involves 
 38.19  contested issues of material fact either upon request of a party 
 38.20  or upon the commission's own motion if the complaint alleges a 
 38.21  violation described in subdivision 1, clauses (1) to (4).  The 
 38.22  commission may order an expedited proceeding under this 
 38.23  subdivision if the commission finds an expedited proceeding is 
 38.24  in the public interest, regardless of whether all parties agree 
 38.25  to the expedited proceeding.  In determining whether to grant an 
 38.26  expedited proceeding, the commission may consider any evidence 
 38.27  of impairment of the provision of telecommunications service to 
 38.28  subscribers in the state or impairment of the provision of any 
 38.29  service or network element subject to the jurisdiction of the 
 38.30  commission. 
 38.31     (b) Any request for an expedited proceeding under this 
 38.32  subdivision must be noted in the title of the first filing by a 
 38.33  party.  The filing must also state the specific circumstances 
 38.34  that the party believes warrant an expedited proceeding under 
 38.35  this subdivision. 
 38.36     (c) A complaint requesting an expedited proceeding, unless 
 39.1   filed by the department or the attorney general, must set forth 
 39.2   the actions and the dates of the actions taken by the party 
 39.3   filing the complaint to attempt to resolve the alleged 
 39.4   violations with the party against whom the complaint is filed, 
 39.5   including any requests that the party against whom the complaint 
 39.6   is filed correct the conduct giving rise to the violations 
 39.7   alleged in the complaint.  If no such actions were taken by the 
 39.8   complainant, the complaint must set forth the reasons why no 
 39.9   such actions were taken.  The commission may order an expedited 
 39.10  proceeding even if the filing complaint fails to meet this 
 39.11  requirement if the commission determines that it would be in the 
 39.12  public interest to go forward with the expedited proceeding 
 39.13  without information in the complaint on attempts to resolve the 
 39.14  dispute. 
 39.15     (d) The complaining party shall serve the complaint along 
 39.16  with any written discovery requests by hand delivery and 
 39.17  facsimile on the party against whom the complaint is filed, the 
 39.18  department, and the attorney general on the same day the 
 39.19  complaint is filed with the commission. 
 39.20     (e) The party responding to a complaint that includes a 
 39.21  request for an expedited proceeding under this subdivision shall 
 39.22  file an answer within 15 days after receiving the complaint.  
 39.23  The responding party shall state in the answer the party's 
 39.24  position on the request for an expedited proceeding.  The 
 39.25  responding party shall serve with the answer any objections to 
 39.26  any written discovery requests as well as any written discovery 
 39.27  requests the responding party wishes to serve on the complaining 
 39.28  party.  Except for stating any objections, the responding party 
 39.29  is not required to answer any written discovery requests under 
 39.30  this subdivision until a time established at a prehearing 
 39.31  conference.  The responding party shall serve a copy of the 
 39.32  answer and any discovery requests and objections on the 
 39.33  complaining party, the department, and attorney general by hand 
 39.34  delivery and facsimile on the same day as the answer is filed 
 39.35  with the commission. 
 39.36     (f) Within 15 days of receiving the answer to a complaint 
 40.1   in a proceeding in which a party has requested an expedited 
 40.2   hearing, the commission shall determine whether the filing 
 40.3   warrants an expedited proceeding.  If the commission decides to 
 40.4   grant a request by a party or if the commission orders an 
 40.5   expedited proceeding on its own motion, the commission shall 
 40.6   conduct within seven days of the decision a prehearing 
 40.7   conference to schedule the evidentiary hearing.  During the 
 40.8   prehearing conference, the commission shall establish a 
 40.9   discovery schedule that requires all discovery to be completed 
 40.10  no later than three days before the start of the hearing.  An 
 40.11  evidentiary hearing under this subdivision must commence no 
 40.12  later than 45 days after the commission's decision to order an 
 40.13  expedited proceeding.  A quorum of the commission shall preside 
 40.14  at any evidentiary hearing under this subdivision unless all the 
 40.15  parties to the proceeding agree otherwise. 
 40.16     (g) All pleadings submitted under this subdivision must be 
 40.17  verified and all oral statements of fact made in a hearing or 
 40.18  deposition under this subdivision must be made under oath or 
 40.19  affirmation. 
 40.20     (h) The commission shall issue a written decision and final 
 40.21  order on the complaint within 15 days after the close of the 
 40.22  evidentiary hearing under this subdivision.  On the day of 
 40.23  issuance, the commission shall notify the parties by facsimile 
 40.24  that a final order has been issued and shall provide each party 
 40.25  with a copy of the final order. 
 40.26     (i) The commission may extend any time periods under this 
 40.27  subdivision if all parties to the proceeding agree to the 
 40.28  extension or if the commission finds the extension is necessary 
 40.29  to ensure a just resolution of the complaint. 
 40.30     (j) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, an 
 40.31  expedited proceeding under this subdivision shall be governed by 
 40.32  the following procedural rules: 
 40.33     (1) the parties have the discovery rights provided in 
 40.34  Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.6700 to 1400.7000; 
 40.35     (2) the parties have the right to cross-examine witnesses 
 40.36  as provided in section 14.60, subdivision 3; 
 41.1      (3) the admissibility of evidence and development of record 
 41.2   for decision is governed by section 14.60 and Minnesota Rules, 
 41.3   part 1400.7300; and 
 41.4      (4) the commission may apply other procedures or standards 
 41.5   included in the rules of the office of administrative hearings, 
 41.6   as necessary to ensure the fair and expeditious resolution of 
 41.7   disputes under this section.  [237.462, subd 6] 
 41.8      Subd. 7.  [TEMPORARY RELIEF PENDING DISPUTE RESOLUTION.] (a)
 41.9   A person filing a complaint may include in the complaint a 
 41.10  request that the commission issue an order granting temporary 
 41.11  relief under paragraph (c) if the complaint alleges a violation 
 41.12  described in subdivision 1, clauses (1) to (4).  Any request for 
 41.13  temporary relief under this subdivision must be noted in the 
 41.14  title of the complaint.  The complaining party shall provide a 
 41.15  copy of the complaint requesting temporary relief by hand 
 41.16  delivery and facsimile to the party alleged to be in violation 
 41.17  on the same day a complaint requesting such relief is filed with 
 41.18  the commission.  The commission shall issue a decision upon such 
 41.19  a request within 20 days of the filing of the complaint. 
 41.20     (b) The commission may also order temporary relief on its 
 41.21  own motion for an alleged violation of one or more of the 
 41.22  provisions of subdivision 1, clauses (1) to (4), in accordance 
 41.23  with this subdivision. 
 41.24     (c) After notice and an opportunity for comment, the 
 41.25  commission may grant an order for temporary relief under this 
 41.26  subdivision upon a verified factual showing that: 
 41.27     (1) the party seeking relief will likely succeed on the 
 41.28  merits; 
 41.29     (2) the order is necessary to protect the public's interest 
 41.30  in fair and reasonable competition; and 
 41.31     (3) the relief sought is technically feasible. 
 41.32     An order for temporary relief must include a finding that 
 41.33  the requirements of this subdivision have been fulfilled. 
 41.34     (d) In an order granting temporary relief, the commission 
 41.35  shall require the responding party to act or refrain from acting 
 41.36  as the commission deems necessary to avoid, prevent, or mitigate 
 42.1   the complained-of harm to subscribers or local exchange 
 42.2   telephone service providers resulting from the alleged violation 
 42.3   of one or more of the provisions in subdivision 1, clauses (1) 
 42.4   to (4).  The commission must give the responding party a 
 42.5   reasonable period of time to comply with the order. 
 42.6      (e) A party may seek review, reconsideration, or rehearing 
 42.7   of a temporary relief order prior to a final decision on the 
 42.8   complaint by the commission. 
 42.9      (f) If there is a material issue of fact and the commission 
 42.10  issues an order based on written pleadings without an 
 42.11  evidentiary hearing, the order may not remain in effect for more 
 42.12  than 30 days prior to which time the commission shall hold an 
 42.13  evidentiary hearing to determine whether the order for temporary 
 42.14  relief should be continued, modified, or reversed.  Otherwise, 
 42.15  an order for temporary relief shall remain in effect until a 
 42.16  final order is issued by the commission unless the commission or 
 42.17  a court issues an order or decision reversing the order for 
 42.18  temporary relief.  [237.462, subd 7] 
 42.19     Subd. 8.  [ENFORCEMENT BY ATTORNEY GENERAL.] The attorney 
 42.20  general, on behalf of the state, may proceed to enforce and 
 42.21  collect penalties that are due and payable under this section in 
 42.22  any manner provided to the attorney general by other law.  
 42.23  [237.462, subd 8] 
 42.24     Subd. 9.  [CUMULATIVE REMEDIES.] The attorney general may 
 42.25  not seek civil penalties under section 237A.34 for the same 
 42.26  violations for which the commission has issued an order imposing 
 42.27  administrative monetary penalties under this section.  The 
 42.28  imposition of administrative penalties in accordance with this 
 42.29  section is in addition to all other remedies available under 
 42.30  statutory or common law.  The payment of a penalty does not 
 42.31  preclude the use of other enforcement provisions, under which 
 42.32  penalties are not assessed, in connection with the violation or 
 42.33  violations for which the penalty was assessed.  [237.462, subd 
 42.34  9] 
 42.35     Subd. 10.  [PRIVATE REMEDIES.] Nothing in this section 
 42.36  affects the ability of a telecommunications service provider or 
 43.1   subscriber to bring a private cause of action in court against 
 43.2   an incumbent local service provider based on conduct for which a 
 43.3   penalty is imposed under this section.  [237.462, subd 11] 
 43.4      Subd. 11.  [SEPARATING RETAIL AND WHOLESALE OPERATIONS.] If 
 43.5   the commission finds that an incumbent local service provider 
 43.6   has engaged in a pattern and practice of conduct for which 
 43.7   penalties are payable under subdivision 1, the commission may 
 43.8   order, after a contested case proceeding conducted under chapter 
 43.9   14, the permanent structural separation of the incumbent local 
 43.10  service provider's wholesale and retail operations, consistent 
 43.11  with federal law.  
 43.12     Sec. 9.  [237A.36] [ASSESSMENT OF REGULATORY EXPENSES.] 
 43.13     Subdivision 1.  [PAYMENT FOR INVESTIGATION.] (a) Whenever 
 43.14  the department or commission, in a proceeding upon its own 
 43.15  motion, on complaint, or upon an application to it, considers it 
 43.16  necessary, in order to carry out the duties imposed on it, to 
 43.17  investigate the books, accounts, practices, and activities of 
 43.18  any company, parties to the proceeding shall pay the expenses 
 43.19  reasonably attributable to the proceeding.  The department and 
 43.20  commission shall ascertain the expenses, and the department 
 43.21  shall render a bill for those expenses to the parties, at the 
 43.22  conclusion of the proceeding.  The department is authorized to 
 43.23  submit billings to parties at intervals selected by the 
 43.24  department during the course of a proceeding. 
 43.25     (b) The allocation of costs may be adjusted for cause by 
 43.26  the commission during the course of the proceeding, or upon the 
 43.27  closing of the docket and issuance of an order.  In addition to 
 43.28  the rights granted in subdivision 3, parties to a proceeding may 
 43.29  object to the allocation at any time during the proceeding.  
 43.30  Withdrawal by a party to a proceeding does not absolve the party 
 43.31  from paying allocated costs as determined by the commission.  
 43.32  The commission may decide that a party should not pay any 
 43.33  allocated costs of the proceeding. 
 43.34     (c) The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and a 
 43.35  demand for payment.  The amount of the bills assessed by the 
 43.36  department under this subdivision must be paid by the parties 
 44.1   into the state treasury within 30 days from the date of 
 44.2   assessment.  The total amount, in a calendar year, for which a 
 44.3   telecommunications or cable service provider may become liable, 
 44.4   by reason of costs incurred by the department and commission 
 44.5   within that calendar year, may not exceed two-fifths of one 
 44.6   percent of the gross jurisdictional operating revenue of the 
 44.7   telecommunications or cable service provider in the last 
 44.8   preceding calendar year.  Direct charges may be assessed without 
 44.9   regard to this limitation until the gross jurisdictional 
 44.10  operating revenue of the telecommunications or cable service 
 44.11  provider for the preceding calendar year has been reported for 
 44.12  the first time.  Where, under this subdivision, costs are 
 44.13  incurred within a calendar year that are in excess of two-fifths 
 44.14  of one percent of the gross jurisdictional operating revenues, 
 44.15  the excess costs are not chargeable as part of the remainder 
 44.16  under subdivision 2. 
 44.17     (d) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (e), for 
 44.18  purposes of assessing the cost of a proceeding to a party, 
 44.19  "party" means any entity or group subject to the laws and rules 
 44.20  of this state, however organized, whether public or private, 
 44.21  whether domestic or foreign, whether for profit or nonprofit, 
 44.22  and whether natural, corporate, or political, such as a business 
 44.23  or commercial enterprise organized as any type or combination of 
 44.24  corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited 
 44.25  liability partnership, proprietorship, association, cooperative, 
 44.26  joint venture, carrier, or utility, and any successor or 
 44.27  assignee of any of them; a social or charitable organization; 
 44.28  and any type or combination of political subdivision, which 
 44.29  includes the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of the 
 44.30  state, a local government unit, an agency of the state or local 
 44.31  government unit, or a combination of any of them. 
 44.32     (e) For assessment and billing purposes, "party" does not 
 44.33  include the department or the attorney general; any entity or 
 44.34  group instituted primarily for the purpose of mutual help and 
 44.35  not conducted for profit; intervenors awarded compensation; or 
 44.36  any individual or group or counsel for the individual or group 
 45.1   representing the interests of end users or classes of end users 
 45.2   of services provided by telecommunications or cable service 
 45.3   providers, as determined by the commission. 
 45.4      Subd. 2.  [ASSESSMENT OF COSTS.] The department and 
 45.5   commission shall quarterly, at least 30 days before the start of 
 45.6   each quarter, estimate the total of their expenditures in the 
 45.7   performance of their duties relating to telecommunications or 
 45.8   cable service providers, other than amounts chargeable to 
 45.9   telecommunications or cable service providers under subdivision 
 45.10  1 or 5.  The remainder must be assessed by the department to the 
 45.11  telecommunications or cable service providers operating in this 
 45.12  state in proportion to their respective gross jurisdictional 
 45.13  operating revenues during the last calendar year.  The 
 45.14  assessment must be paid into the state treasury within 30 days 
 45.15  after the bill has been mailed to the companies, and credited to 
 45.16  the general fund.  The bill constitutes notice of the assessment 
 45.17  and demand of payment.  The total amount that may be assessed to 
 45.18  the companies under this subdivision may not exceed one-eighth 
 45.19  of one percent of the total gross jurisdictional operating 
 45.20  revenues during the calendar year.  The assessment for the third 
 45.21  quarter of each fiscal year must be adjusted to compensate for 
 45.22  the amount by which actual expenditures by the commission and 
 45.23  department for the preceding fiscal year were more or less than 
 45.24  the estimated expenditures previously assessed.  A 
 45.25  telecommunications service provider with gross jurisdictional 
 45.26  operating revenues of less than $5,000 is exempt from 
 45.27  assessments under this subdivision. 
 45.28     Subd. 3.  [OBJECTION.] Within 30 days after the date of the 
 45.29  mailing of any bill as provided by subdivision 1, 2, or 5 the 
 45.30  parties to the proceeding, against which the bill has been 
 45.31  assessed, may file with the commission objections setting out 
 45.32  the grounds upon which it is claimed the bill is excessive, 
 45.33  erroneous, unlawful, or invalid.  The commission shall within 60 
 45.34  days issue an order in accordance with its findings.  The order 
 45.35  is appealable in the same manner as other final orders of the 
 45.36  commission. 
 46.1      Subd. 4.  [INTEREST IMPOSED.] The amounts assessed against 
 46.2   any telecommunications or cable service provider or other party 
 46.3   that is not paid after 30 days after the mailing of a notice 
 46.4   advising the telecommunications or cable service provider or 
 46.5   other party of the amount assessed against it, draw interest at 
 46.6   the rate of six percent per annum, and upon failure to pay the 
 46.7   assessment the attorney general shall proceed by action in the 
 46.8   name of the state against the telecommunications or cable 
 46.9   service provider or other party to collect the amount due, 
 46.10  together with interest and the cost of the suit. 
 46.11     Subd. 5.  [ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING COSTS; 
 46.12  APPROPRIATION.] Any amounts billed to the commission or the 
 46.13  department by the office of administrative hearings for 
 46.14  contested case hearings held pursuant to section 237A.28, 
 46.15  subdivision 2, must be assessed by the commission or the 
 46.16  department against the parties to the proceeding.  The 
 46.17  assessment must be paid into the state treasury within 30 days 
 46.18  after a bill, which constitutes notice of the assessment and 
 46.19  demand for payment of it, has been mailed to the parties.  Money 
 46.20  received must be credited to a special account and is 
 46.21  appropriated to the commission or the department for payment to 
 46.22  the office of administrative hearings.  [237.295] 
 46.23     Sec. 10.  [237A.37] [TELECOMMUNICATIONS INVESTIGATION FUND; 
 46.24  APPROPRIATION.] 
 46.25     The sum of $25,000 is appropriated out of any money in the 
 46.26  state treasury not otherwise appropriated, to establish and 
 46.27  provide a revolving fund to be known as the Minnesota 
 46.28  Telecommunications Investigation Fund for the use of the 
 46.29  department of commerce and of the attorney general in 
 46.30  investigations, valuations, and revaluations under section 
 46.31  237A.36.  All sums paid by telecommunications service providers 
 46.32  to reimburse the department for its expenses pursuant to section 
 46.33  237A.36 must be credited to the revolving fund and deposited in 
 46.34  a separate bank account and not commingled with any other state 
 46.35  money or funds, but any balance in excess of $25,000 in the 
 46.36  revolving fund at the end of each fiscal year must be paid into 
 47.1   the state treasury and credited to the general fund.  The sum of 
 47.2   $25,000 herein appropriated and all subsequent credits to the 
 47.3   revolving fund must be paid upon the warrant of the commissioner 
 47.4   of finance upon application of the department or of the attorney 
 47.5   general to an aggregate amount of not more than one-half of such 
 47.6   sums to each of them, which proportion must be constantly 
 47.7   maintained in all credits and withdrawals from the revolving 
 47.8   fund. [237.30] 
 47.9      Sec. 11.  [237A.38] [EXPEDITED PROCEEDING.] 
 47.10     Notwithstanding chapter 14, the commission may conduct an 
 47.11  expedited proceeding when authorized under this chapter. In an 
 47.12  expedited proceeding, the commission shall give prior notice to 
 47.13  interested persons and provide them with an opportunity to 
 47.14  present statements of fact and argument and to reply, either 
 47.15  orally or in writing or both.  In an expedited proceeding, the 
 47.16  pleadings must be verified, and oral statements of fact must be 
 47.17  made under oath or affirmation.  The commission shall make a 
 47.18  decision in an expedited proceeding based on the record.  
 47.19  [237.61] 
 47.20     Sec. 12.  [237A.39] [GROSS MISDEMEANOR VIOLATION.] 
 47.21     A telecommunications service provider who violates any 
 47.22  provision of this chapter, with intent to defraud, is guilty of 
 47.23  a gross misdemeanor.  [237.46] 
 47.24                             ARTICLE 5 
 47.25                         UNIVERSAL SERVICE 
 47.26     Section 1.  [237A.40] [ACCESS CHARGES.] 
 47.27     Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSION PROCEEDING; STANDARDS.] (a) 
 47.28  Charges for access service must be reduced for all local service 
 47.29  providers in the following manner: 
 47.30     (1) Within 30 days of the effective date of this section, 
 47.31  all intrastate carrier common line charge (CCLC) rates, or other 
 47.32  rates designed to recover any portion of a local service 
 47.33  provider's loop cost, which are tariffed or charged pursuant to 
 47.34  former section 237.12, subdivision 3, must be reduced to no more 
 47.35  than five cents per minute of use from the prevailing rate upon 
 47.36  the effective date of this section.  The effective rate must be 
 48.1   determined by dividing total intrastate carrier common line 
 48.2   revenue for the most recent 12 months by the local switched 
 48.3   minutes of use for the same time period. 
 48.4      (2) Beginning one year after the effective date of this 
 48.5   section, the CCLC rates, or other rates designed to recover any 
 48.6   portion of a local service provider's loop cost, must be reduced 
 48.7   annually from the level established under clause (1) by 20 
 48.8   percent per year for five years, thereby eliminating this rate 
 48.9   element by the end of the fifth year. 
 48.10     (3) Rates designed to recover switching costs associated 
 48.11  with access services, which are currently tariffed or charged by 
 48.12  a local service provider, must be capped at two cents per minute 
 48.13  of use, upon the effective date of this chapter. 
 48.14     (4) Rates designed to cover transport costs associated with 
 48.15  access services, which are currently tariffed or charged by 
 48.16  local service providers, must be capped at tariffed levels 
 48.17  current on the effective date of this section. 
 48.18     (b) Access charges for any local service provider must be 
 48.19  based upon the forward-looking economic costs of providing 
 48.20  access service. 
 48.21     (c) Access charges established for each provider must be 
 48.22  uniform, regardless of their application to the termination of 
 48.23  long distance calls, and regardless of the technology employed 
 48.24  by the interconnecting company. 
 48.25     (d) A local service provider may seek permission from the 
 48.26  commission to charge higher rates for access than those 
 48.27  established in paragraph (a).  The burden of justifying access 
 48.28  charge rates based on economic cost rests on the local service 
 48.29  provider.  [New] 
 48.30     Sec. 2.  [237A.41] [CALCULATING SERVICE COSTS FOR LOCAL 
 48.31  SERVICE AREA.] 
 48.32     By December 31, 2002, the commission shall complete a 
 48.33  proceeding to calculate the forward-looking deaveraged cost of 
 48.34  service for each local service area of an eligible 
 48.35  telecommunications carrier in the state.  Costs may be 
 48.36  deaveraged within a local service area based on a town and rural 
 49.1   distinction if technically feasible.  For calculating the cost 
 49.2   of service for each local service area, the commission shall 
 49.3   consider whether a wireless network, a hybrid fiber coaxial 
 49.4   network, or other alternative technology is the most efficient 
 49.5   means of providing service.  [New] 
 49.6      Sec. 3.  [237A.42] [UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND; EXCISE TAX.] 
 49.7      Subdivision 1.  [FUND CREATED; ACCOUNTS; APPROPRIATION.] (a)
 49.8   The Minnesota universal service fund is created as a special 
 49.9   fund in the state treasury.  Unless otherwise provided under 
 49.10  this chapter, the fund is to be administered by the department.  
 49.11  All interest and earnings of the accounts in the universal 
 49.12  service fund must be credited to the fund.  Money in the fund 
 49.13  must be invested by the state board of investment and is 
 49.14  annually appropriated to the commissioner of commerce for the 
 49.15  purposes enumerated in this chapter.  The commissioner of 
 49.16  revenue shall administer revenue collections for the fund.  
 49.17     (b) The universal service fund includes four accounts: 
 49.18     (1) the high-cost customer account; 
 49.19     (2) the telecommunications access Minnesota account; 
 49.20     (3) the telecommunication assistance program account; and 
 49.21     (4) the advanced services account. 
 49.22  Money may be transferred between fund accounts to carry out the 
 49.23  purposes of this section. 
 49.24     Subd. 2.  [ELIGIBLE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIERS.] (a) A 
 49.25  telecommunications service provider designated as a state 
 49.26  eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) under paragraph (b) or 
 49.27  (c) is eligible to receive universal service support in 
 49.28  accordance with section 237A.43 and must, throughout the service 
 49.29  area for which the designation is received: 
 49.30     (1) be able and willing to provide essential services, 
 49.31  either using its own facilities or a combination of its own 
 49.32  facilities and resale of another carrier's services, including 
 49.33  the services offered by another eligible telecommunications 
 49.34  carrier; 
 49.35     (2) advertise the availability of these services and their 
 49.36  charges, using media of general distribution; and 
 50.1      (3) demonstrate that without state universal support, the 
 50.2   telecommunications service provider cannot recover its embedded 
 50.3   costs of service in the area for which it receives a subsidy. 
 50.4      (b) Upon its own motion or upon request, the commission 
 50.5   shall designate one or more telecommunications service providers 
 50.6   that meet the requirements of paragraph (a) as eligible 
 50.7   telecommunications carriers for a service area designated by the 
 50.8   commission. 
 50.9      (c) Upon its own motion or upon request, the commission may 
 50.10  revoke an ETC designation if it finds a company no longer meets 
 50.11  the requirements of paragraph (a).  
 50.12     (d) The fund must be administered and distributed in 
 50.13  accordance with any rules adopted by the commission and designed 
 50.14  to preserve the availability of universal service throughout the 
 50.15  state.  To the extent that any existing rules of the commission 
 50.16  are inconsistent with this section, those rules are abolished 
 50.17  and without effect.  The commission may, if necessary, modify 
 50.18  its universal service rules to conform to this chapter. 
 50.19     Subd. 3.  [EXCISE TAX.] (a) There is imposed on all 
 50.20  telecommunications service providers, cable service providers, 
 50.21  and other providers of multichannel video programming services, 
 50.22  a tax of five percent of the retail price charged for interstate 
 50.23  and intrastate telecommunications services, cable services, and 
 50.24  other multichannel video programming services.  The tax must be 
 50.25  included on the bill submitted by the provider of the services 
 50.26  for which the tax is payable and collected by that provider.  
 50.27  The provider shall remit the tax proceeds collected to the 
 50.28  commissioner of revenue on a monthly basis.  These proceeds must 
 50.29  be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the universal 
 50.30  service fund.  
 50.31     (b) Cable service providers shall receive a credit 
 50.32  applicable to any tax obligation under paragraph (a) in the 
 50.33  total statewide amount of franchise fees paid pursuant to 
 50.34  section 237A.81.  [New] 
 50.35     Sec. 4.  [237A.43] [HIGH-COST CUSTOMER ACCOUNT; PAYMENTS.] 
 50.36     By December 31, 2002, the commission shall establish a 
 51.1   statewide average revenue benchmark, based on the average local 
 51.2   service revenue per month per line.  This revenue benchmark may 
 51.3   be updated as the commission deems appropriate.  Eligible 
 51.4   telecommunications carriers whose forward-looking costs for 
 51.5   providing essential services, calculated by the commission under 
 51.6   section 237A.41, exceed the state revenue benchmark may receive 
 51.7   monthly payments from the high-cost customer account in the 
 51.8   universal service fund for the amount of the excess for support 
 51.9   in providing essential services to residential and business 
 51.10  customers in those high-cost areas, as determined by the 
 51.11  commission.  The department shall pay out these funds to 
 51.12  eligible telecommunications carriers from funds available in the 
 51.13  high-cost customer account.  [New] 
 51.14     Sec. 5.  [237A.44] [DESIGNATING ELIGIBLE CARRIERS FOR 
 51.15  UNSERVED AREAS.] 
 51.16     Subdivision 1.  [CARRIERS OF LAST RESORT.] (a) All 
 51.17  incumbent local service providers shall continue to provide 
 51.18  essential telecommunications services to the geographic area 
 51.19  served on the effective date of this section. 
 51.20     (b) An incumbent local service provider that offers or 
 51.21  provides a telecommunications service to a customer on a 
 51.22  separate, stand-alone basis within a wire center or access line 
 51.23  cluster shall provide that telecommunications service to all 
 51.24  similarly situated persons within that wire center or access 
 51.25  line cluster upon request.  [237.09, subd 2] 
 51.26     Subd. 2.  [COMMISSION MAY DESIGNATE CARRIER.] If no local 
 51.27  service provider will provide the essential services that are 
 51.28  supported by state universal service support mechanisms under 
 51.29  section 237A.42 or 237A.43, the commission may determine which 
 51.30  local service providers shall provide these essential services 
 51.31  to the requesting, unserved area and may order a local service 
 51.32  provider to provide the essential services to that unserved area.
 51.33     Subd. 3.  [DENSITY CRITERIA.] The commission shall not 
 51.34  require a local service provider to serve an unserved territory 
 51.35  unless 50 percent of the full-time residents and businesses 
 51.36  within a three-mile radius of the nearest technically feasible 
 52.1   interconnection point of an eligible telecommunications carrier 
 52.2   petitions the commission for an order requiring that the service 
 52.3   be provided.  [New] 
 52.4      Sec. 6.  [237A.45] [RELINQUISHMENT OF UNIVERSAL SERVICE.] 
 52.5      The commission may relieve the obligations of a carrier of 
 52.6   last resort under section 237A.44 if the commission finds that 
 52.7   all customers served by the relinquishing carrier will continue 
 52.8   to receive essential telecommunications services from another 
 52.9   local service provider without interruption of service.  [New] 
 52.10     Sec. 7.  [237A.46] [DEFINITIONS.] 
 52.11     Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] The terms used in sections 237A.46 
 52.12  to 237A.51 have the meanings given them in this section. 
 52.13     Subd. 2.  [COMMUNICATION IMPAIRED.] "Communication impaired"
 52.14  means certified as deaf, severely hearing impaired, 
 52.15  hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, deaf and blind, or mobility 
 52.16  impaired if the mobility impairment significantly impedes the 
 52.17  ability to use standard, customer premises equipment. 
 52.18     Subd. 3.  [COMMUNICATION DEVICE.] "Communication device" 
 52.19  means a device that enables a communication-impaired person to 
 52.20  communicate with another person utilizing the telecommunications 
 52.21  system.  A communication device includes a ring signaler, an 
 52.22  amplification device, a telephone device for the deaf, a 
 52.23  brailling device for use with a telephone, speech synthesizer, 
 52.24  and any other device the department of human services deems 
 52.25  necessary. 
 52.26     Subd. 4.  [DEAF.] "Deaf" means a hearing impairment of such 
 52.27  severity that the individual must depend primarily upon visual 
 52.28  communication such as writing, lip reading, manual 
 52.29  communication, and gestures. 
 52.30     Subd. 5.  [EXCHANGE.] "Exchange" means a unit area 
 52.31  established and described by the tariff of a telecommunications 
 52.32  service provider for the administration of telecommunications 
 52.33  service in a specified geographical area, usually embracing a 
 52.34  city or town and its environs, and served by one or more central 
 52.35  offices, together with associated facilities used in providing 
 52.36  service within that area. 
 53.1      Subd. 6.  [HARD-OF-HEARING.] "Hard-of-hearing" means a 
 53.2   hearing impairment resulting in a functional loss, but not to 
 53.3   the extent that the individual must depend primarily upon visual 
 53.4   communication. 
 53.5      Subd. 7.  [INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Interexchange service" 
 53.6   means telecommunications service between points in two or more 
 53.7   exchanges. 
 53.8      Subd. 8.  [INTER-LATA INTEREXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Inter-LATA 
 53.9   interexchange service" means interexchange service originating 
 53.10  and terminating in different LATAs. 
 53.11     Subd. 9.  [LOCAL ACCESS AND TRANSPORT AREA.] "Local access 
 53.12  and transport area" (LATA) means a geographical area designated 
 53.13  by the Modification of Final Judgment in U.S. v. Western 
 53.14  Electric Co., Inc., 552 F. Supp. 131 (D.D.C. 1982), including 
 53.15  modifications in effect on the effective date of this chapter. 
 53.16     Subd. 10.  [LOCAL EXCHANGE SERVICE.] "Local exchange 
 53.17  service" means telecommunications service between points within 
 53.18  an exchange. 
 53.19     Subd. 11.  [TELECOMMUNICATION RELAY SERVICE.] 
 53.20  "Telecommunication relay service" means a central statewide 
 53.21  service through which a communication-impaired person, using a 
 53.22  communication device, may send and receive messages to and from 
 53.23  a non-communication-impaired person whose telephone is not 
 53.24  equipped with a communication device and through which a 
 53.25  non-communication-impaired person may, by using voice 
 53.26  communication, send and receive messages to and from a 
 53.27  communication-impaired person.  [237.50] 
 53.28     Sec. 8.  [237A.47] [RELAY SERVICE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION.] 
 53.29     Subdivision 1.  [CREATION.] The department shall administer 
 53.30  through interagency agreement with the department of human 
 53.31  services a program to distribute communication devices to 
 53.32  eligible communication-impaired persons and contract with a 
 53.33  qualified vendor that serves communication-impaired persons to 
 53.34  create and maintain a telecommunications relay service.  For 
 53.35  purposes of sections 237A.46 to 237A.51, the department and any 
 53.36  organization with which it contracts pursuant to this section or 
 54.1   section 237A.50, are not telecommunications service providers.  
 54.2   [237.51, subd 1] 
 54.3      Subd. 2.  [DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE DUTIES; RULES.] In 
 54.4   addition to duties specified elsewhere in sections 237A.46 to 
 54.5   237A.51, the department shall: 
 54.6      (1) administer the fund created in section 237A.48; and 
 54.7      (2) adopt new or maintain existing rules as necessary under 
 54.8   chapter 14 to implement sections 237A.47 to 237A.51.  [237.51, 
 54.9   subd 5] 
 54.10     Subd. 3.  [DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES DUTIES.] (a) In 
 54.11  addition to any duties specified elsewhere in sections 237A.48 
 54.12  to 237A.51, the department of human services shall: 
 54.13     (1) define economic hardship, special needs, and household 
 54.14  criteria so as to determine the priority of eligible applicants 
 54.15  for initial distribution of devices and to determine 
 54.16  circumstances necessitating provision of more than one 
 54.17  communication device per household; 
 54.18     (2) establish a method to verify eligibility requirements; 
 54.19     (3) establish specifications for communication devices to 
 54.20  be purchased under section 237A.49, subdivision 3; and 
 54.21     (4) inform the public and specifically the community of 
 54.22  communication-impaired persons of the program. 
 54.23     (b) The department may establish an advisory board to 
 54.24  advise the department in carrying out the duties specified in 
 54.25  this section and to advise the department of commerce in 
 54.26  carrying out its duties under section 237A.47.  If so 
 54.27  established, the advisory board must include, at a minimum, the 
 54.28  following communication-impaired persons: 
 54.29     (1) at least one member who is deaf; 
 54.30     (2) at least one member who is speech impaired; 
 54.31     (3) at least one member who is mobility impaired; and 
 54.32     (4) at least one member who is hard-of-hearing. 
 54.33  The membership terms, compensation, and removal of members and 
 54.34  the filling of membership vacancies are governed by section 
 54.35  15.059.  Advisory board meetings must be held at the discretion 
 54.36  of the commissioner.  [237.51, subd 5a] 
 55.1      Sec. 9.  [237A.48] [TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACCESS MINNESOTA; 
 55.2   APPROPRIATION.] 
 55.3      Subdivision 1.  [ACCOUNT CREATED; DEDICATED 
 55.4   APPROPRIATION.] (a) The telecommunications access Minnesota 
 55.5   account is created as an account in the Minnesota universal 
 55.6   service fund.  
 55.7      (b) Four percent of the proceeds of the excise tax 
 55.8   collected under section 237A.42, must be transferred to the 
 55.9   telecommunications access Minnesota account from the universal 
 55.10  service fund and is appropriated to the department of commerce 
 55.11  for the purposes of sections 237A.46 to 237A.51. 
 55.12     (c) Any unobligated money in the telecommunication access 
 55.13  Minnesota fund formerly established under section 237.52, does 
 55.14  not lapse and is transferred to the telecommunications access 
 55.15  Minnesota account of the Minnesota universal service fund on the 
 55.16  effective date of this section and appropriated to the 
 55.17  commissioner of commerce for the expenditures described in 
 55.18  subdivision 2. 
 55.19     Subd. 2.  [EXPENDITURES.] (a) Money in the account may be 
 55.20  used for: 
 55.21     (1) expenses of the department, including personnel cost, 
 55.22  public relations, advisory board members' expenses, preparation 
 55.23  of reports, indirect costs, and other reasonable expenses not to 
 55.24  exceed ten percent of total program expenditures; 
 55.25     (2) reimbursing the commissioner of human services for 
 55.26  purchases made or services provided pursuant to section 237A.49; 
 55.27     (3) reimbursing telecommunications service providers for 
 55.28  purchases made or services provided under section 237A.49, 
 55.29  subdivision 5; and 
 55.30     (4) contracting for establishment and operation of the 
 55.31  telecommunication relay service required by section 237A.50. 
 55.32     (b) All costs directly associated with the establishment of 
 55.33  the program, the purchase and distribution of communication 
 55.34  devices, and the establishment and operation of the 
 55.35  telecommunication relay service are either reimbursable or 
 55.36  directly payable from the fund after authorization by the 
 56.1   department.  The department shall contract with the message 
 56.2   relay service operator to indemnify the local exchange carriers 
 56.3   of the relay service for any fines imposed by the Federal 
 56.4   Communications Commission related to the failure of the relay 
 56.5   service to comply with federal service standards.  
 56.6   Notwithstanding section 16A.41, the department may advance money 
 56.7   to a telecommunication relay service customer service contractor 
 56.8   if the customer service contractor establishes to the 
 56.9   department's satisfaction that the advance payment is necessary 
 56.10  for the operation of the service.  The advance payment must be 
 56.11  offset or repaid by the end of the contract fiscal year together 
 56.12  with interest accrued from the date of payment.  [237.52, subd 
 56.13  5] 
 56.14     Sec. 10.  [237A.49] [COMMUNICATION DEVICE.] 
 56.15     Subdivision 1.  [APPLICATION.] A person applying for a 
 56.16  communication device under this section shall apply to the 
 56.17  program administrator on a form prescribed by the department of 
 56.18  human services. 
 56.19     Subd. 2.  [ELIGIBILITY.] To be eligible to obtain a 
 56.20  communication device under this section, a person must be: 
 56.21     (1) able to benefit from and use the equipment for its 
 56.22  intended purpose; 
 56.23     (2) communication impaired; 
 56.24     (3) a resident of the state; 
 56.25     (4) a resident in a household that has a median income at 
 56.26  or below the applicable median household in the state, except a 
 56.27  deaf and blind person applying for a brailling device may reside 
 56.28  in a household that has a median income no more than 150 percent 
 56.29  of the applicable median household income in the state; and 
 56.30     (5) a resident in a household that has telecommunications 
 56.31  service or that has applied for service and has been assigned a 
 56.32  telephone number, or a resident in a residential care facility, 
 56.33  such as a nursing home or group home where telecommunications 
 56.34  service is not included as part of the overall service provision.
 56.35     Subd. 3.  [DISTRIBUTION.] The commissioner of human 
 56.36  services shall purchase and distribute a sufficient number of 
 57.1   communication devices so that each eligible household receives 
 57.2   an appropriate device.  The commissioner of human services shall 
 57.3   distribute the devices to eligible households in each service 
 57.4   area free of charge as determined under this section. 
 57.5      Subd. 4.  [TRAINING; MAINTENANCE.] The commissioner of 
 57.6   human services shall maintain the communication devices until 
 57.7   the warranty period expires, and provide training, without 
 57.8   charge, to first-time users of the devices. 
 57.9      Subd. 5.  [WIRING INSTALLATION.] If a 
 57.10  communication-impaired person is not served by 
 57.11  telecommunications service and is subject to economic hardship 
 57.12  as determined by the department of human services, the 
 57.13  telecommunications service provider providing local service 
 57.14  shall, at the direction of the administrator of the program, 
 57.15  install necessary outside wiring without charge to the household.
 57.16     Subd. 6.  [OWNERSHIP.] Communication devices purchased 
 57.17  pursuant to subdivision 3 become the property of the state of 
 57.18  Minnesota. 
 57.19     Subd. 7.  [STANDARDS.] The communication devices 
 57.20  distributed under this section must comply with the electronic 
 57.21  industries association standards and approved by the Federal 
 57.22  Communications Commission.  The commissioner of human services 
 57.23  shall provide each eligible person a choice of several models of 
 57.24  the devices, the retail value of which may not exceed $600 for a 
 57.25  communication device for the deaf, and a retail value of $7,000 
 57.26  for a braille phone device, or an amount authorized by the 
 57.27  department of human services for a telephone device for the deaf 
 57.28  with auxiliary equipment.  [237.53] 
 57.29     Sec. 11.  [237A.50] [TELECOMMUNICATION RELAY SERVICE.] 
 57.30     The department shall contract with a qualified 
 57.31  telecommunications relay service vender that serves 
 57.32  communication-impaired persons for operation and maintenance of 
 57.33  the telecommunication relay system.  The operator of the system 
 57.34  shall keep all messages confidential, shall train personnel in 
 57.35  the unique needs of communication-impaired people, and shall 
 57.36  inform communication-impaired persons and the public of the 
 58.1   availability and use of the system.  The operator shall not 
 58.2   relay a message unless it originates or terminates through a 
 58.3   communication device for the deaf or speech synthesizer or a 
 58.4   Brailling device for use with a telephone.  [237.54] 
 58.5      Sec. 12.  [237A.51] [ADEQUATE SERVICE ENFORCEMENT.] 
 58.6      The services required to be provided under sections 237A.46 
 58.7   to 237A.51 may be enforced under section 237A.34 upon a 
 58.8   complaint of at least two communication-impaired persons within 
 58.9   the service area of any one telecommunications service 
 58.10  provider.  However, if only one person within the service area 
 58.11  of a company is receiving service under sections 237A.46 to 
 58.12  237A.51, the commission may proceed upon a complaint from that 
 58.13  person.  [237.56] 
 58.14     Sec. 13.  [237A.52] [TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANCE 
 58.15  PROGRAM.] 
 58.16     Subdivision 1.  [HOUSEHOLD ELIGIBILITY FOR CREDITS.] (a) 
 58.17  The telecommunications assistance program must provide 
 58.18  telecommunications assistance credit for a residential household 
 58.19  in Minnesota that meets each of the criteria listed in 
 58.20  paragraphs (b) to (d). 
 58.21     (b) A member of the household subscribes to local service.  
 58.22     (c) The income of the household is 150 percent or less of 
 58.23  federal poverty guidelines. 
 58.24     (d) A member of the household has been certified as 
 58.25  eligible for telecommunications assistance plan credits under 
 58.26  this section.  [237.70, subd 4a] 
 58.27     Subd. 2.  [NATURE AND EXTENT OF CREDITS.] The 
 58.28  telecommunications assistance program may provide for 
 58.29  telecommunications assistance credits to eligible households in 
 58.30  the amount of $3.50 or 50 percent of the total amount available 
 58.31  to eligible households under the federal lifeline program, 
 58.32  whichever amount is lower.  If the amount in the universal 
 58.33  service fund telecommunications assistance program account is 
 58.34  inadequate to fund the level of telecommunications assistance 
 58.35  program credits set forth under subdivision 2, the commission 
 58.36  shall order the credits reduced to a level that can be 
 59.1   adequately funded by the universal service fund 
 59.2   telecommunications assistance program account.  [237.70, subd 5] 
 59.3      Subd. 3.  [APPLICATION FORM REQUIREMENTS.] The department 
 59.4   of human services shall develop an application form that must be 
 59.5   completed by the subscriber for the purpose of certifying 
 59.6   eligibility for telecommunications assistance program credits to 
 59.7   the department of human services.  The application must contain 
 59.8   the applicant's social security number.  Applicants who refuse 
 59.9   to provide a social security number must be denied 
 59.10  telecommunications assistance program credits.  The application 
 59.11  form must include provisions for the applicant to show the name 
 59.12  of the applicant's local service provider.  Applicants must also 
 59.13  provide proof of income level.  The application must state that 
 59.14  failure to submit proof of income level with the application 
 59.15  will result in the applicant being found ineligible.  [237.70, 
 59.16  subd 7, para (a)] 
 59.17     Subd. 4.  [NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBER.] Each local service 
 59.18  provider shall annually mail a notice of the availability of the 
 59.19  telecommunications assistance program to each residential 
 59.20  subscriber in a regular billing and shall mail the application 
 59.21  form to customers when requested.  The notice must state the 
 59.22  following: 
 59.23     "YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR CREDITS TOWARDS YOUR LOCAL 
 59.24  TELEPHONE BILL IF YOU MEET CERTAIN HOUSEHOLD INCOME LIMITS.  FOR 
 59.25  MORE INFORMATION OR AN APPLICATION FORM PLEASE CONTACT 
 59.26  ............................"  [237.70, subd 7, para (a)] 
 59.27     Subd. 5.  [ANNUAL ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION.] The 
 59.28  department of human services shall determine the eligibility for 
 59.29  telecommunications assistance program credits at least annually 
 59.30  according to the criteria contained in subdivision 1.  [237.70, 
 59.31  subd 7, para (b)] 
 59.32     Subd. 6.  [SUBMITTING APPLICATION.] An application may be 
 59.33  made by the subscriber, the subscriber's spouse, or a person 
 59.34  authorized by the subscriber to act on the subscriber's behalf. 
 59.35  On completing the application certifying that the statutory 
 59.36  criteria for eligibility are satisfied, the applicant shall 
 60.1   return the application to an office of the department of human 
 60.2   services specially designated to process telecommunications 
 60.3   assistance program applications.  [237.70, subd 7, para (c)] 
 60.4      Subd. 7.  [INELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION; DEADLINE, 
 60.5   PROCEDURE.] (a) On receiving a completed application from an 
 60.6   applicant, the department of human services shall determine the 
 60.7   applicant's eligibility or ineligibility within 120 days.  If 
 60.8   the department fails to do so, it shall within three working 
 60.9   days provide written notice to the applicant's local service 
 60.10  provider that the provider shall provide telecommunications 
 60.11  assistance plan credits against monthly charges in the earliest 
 60.12  possible month following receipt of the written notice.  The 
 60.13  applicant must receive telecommunications assistance program 
 60.14  credits until the earliest possible month following the 
 60.15  provider's receipt of notice from the department that the 
 60.16  applicant is ineligible.  
 60.17     (b) If the department of human services determines that an 
 60.18  applicant is not eligible to receive telecommunications 
 60.19  assistance program credits, it shall notify the applicant within 
 60.20  ten working days of that determination.  [237.70, subd 7, para 
 60.21  (c)] 
 60.22     Subd. 8.  [NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY; TAP CREDITS 
 60.23  IMPLEMENTED.] (a) Within 30 working days of determining that an 
 60.24  applicant is eligible to receive telecommunications assistance 
 60.25  program credits, the department of human services shall provide 
 60.26  written notification to the local service provider that serves 
 60.27  the applicant.  The notice must include the applicant's name, 
 60.28  address, and telephone number. 
 60.29     (b) Each provider shall provide telecommunications 
 60.30  assistance program credits against monthly charges in the 
 60.31  earliest possible month following receipt of notice from the 
 60.32  department of human services. 
 60.33     (c) The local service provider shall notify the subscriber 
 60.34  of the approval for the telecommunications assistance program 
 60.35  credit.  [237.70, subd 7, para (c)] 
 60.36     Subd. 9.  [ONGOING ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.] By December 
 61.1   31 of each year, the department of human services shall 
 61.2   redetermine eligibility of each person receiving 
 61.3   telecommunications assistance program credits, as required in 
 61.4   subdivision 6.  The department of human services shall submit an 
 61.5   annual report to the legislature by January 15 of each year 
 61.6   showing that the department has determined the eligibility for 
 61.7   telecommunications assistance program credits of each person 
 61.8   receiving the credits or explaining why the determination has 
 61.9   not been made and showing how and when the determination will be 
 61.10  completed.  [237.70, subd 7, para (c)] 
 61.11     Subd. 10.  [NOTICE OF NONRENEWAL.] On determining that a 
 61.12  current recipient of telecommunications assistance program 
 61.13  credits is not eligible to receive the credits, the department 
 61.14  of human services shall notify, in writing, the recipient within 
 61.15  ten working days and the local service provider serving the 
 61.16  recipient within 20 working days of the determination.  The 
 61.17  notice must include the recipient's name, address, and telephone 
 61.18  number.  [237.70, subd 7, para (c)] 
 61.19     Subd. 11.  [TAP CREDITS DISCONTINUED.] Each local service 
 61.20  provider shall remove telecommunications assistance program 
 61.21  credits against monthly charges in the earliest possible month 
 61.22  following receipt of notice from the department of human 
 61.23  services.  [237.70, subd 7, para (c)] 
 61.24     Subd. 12.  [NOTICE OF DISCONNECTION.] Each local service 
 61.25  provider that disconnects a subscriber receiving the 
 61.26  telecommunications assistance program credit shall report the 
 61.27  disconnection to the department of human services.  The reports 
 61.28  must be submitted monthly, identifying the subscribers 
 61.29  disconnected.  Local service providers that do not disconnect a 
 61.30  subscriber receiving the telecommunications assistance program 
 61.31  credit are not required to report.  [237.70, subd 7, para (c)] 
 61.32     Subd. 13.  [COORDINATION, ADMINISTRATION, DUTIES.] (a) The 
 61.33  department of human services and the commissioner of commerce 
 61.34  shall serve as the coordinators of the telecommunications 
 61.35  assistance program and be reimbursed for its administrative 
 61.36  expenses from the universal service fund telecommunications 
 62.1   assistance program account. 
 62.2      (b) The coordinators shall require each telecommunications 
 62.3   service provider to account to the commissioner of commerce on a 
 62.4   periodic basis for credits extended by the provider under the 
 62.5   telecommunications assistance program. 
 62.6      (c) The department of commerce shall remit to each local 
 62.7   service provider from the universal service fund 
 62.8   telecommunications assistance program account the amount 
 62.9   necessary to compensate the provider for expenses and 
 62.10  telecommunications assistance program credits.  [237.70, subd 7, 
 62.11  para (d)] 
 62.12     Subd. 14.  [RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING.] Each local 
 62.13  service provider shall maintain adequate records of expenses and 
 62.14  credits related to the telecommunications assistance program and 
 62.15  shall, as part of its annual report or separately, provide the 
 62.16  department of commerce, the commission, and the department of 
 62.17  human services with a financial report for the 
 62.18  telecommunications assistance program for the previous year. 
 62.19  [237.70, subd 7, para (e)] 
 62.20     Sec. 14.  [237A.54] [TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM; 
 62.21  ACCOUNT; APPROPRIATION.] 
 62.22     Subdivision 1.  [DEDICATED APPROPRIATION.] Three and 
 62.23  one-half percent of the proceeds of the excise tax collected 
 62.24  under section 237A.42 must be transferred to the 
 62.25  telecommunications assistance program account from the universal 
 62.26  service fund and is annually appropriated to the department of 
 62.27  commerce for the purposes of this section and section 237A.52. 
 62.28     Subd. 2.  [EXPENDITURES.] Money in the account may be used 
 62.29  for: 
 62.30     (1) reimbursement to local service providers for credits 
 62.31  allowed in section 237A.52, subdivision 2; and 
 62.32     (2) payment of the administrative expenses of the 
 62.33  department of human services to implement section 237A.52, not 
 62.34  to exceed $580,000 for expenses incurred one year after the 
 62.35  effective date and $530,000 per year thereafter.  
 62.36     Sec. 15.  [237A.55] [ADVANCED SERVICES LOAN PROGRAM; 
 63.1   ACCOUNT; GRANTS AND APPROPRIATIONS; RULES.] 
 63.2      Subdivision 1.  [ADVANCED SERVICES LOAN BOARD.] (a) An 
 63.3   advanced services loan board is created, consisting of two 
 63.4   public members appointed by the governor and the commissioner of 
 63.5   commerce, or the commissioner's delegate.  The loan board shall 
 63.6   advise the commissioner on the implementation of this section 
 63.7   and approve loan applications. 
 63.8      (b) A majority of the loan board, excluding vacancies, 
 63.9   constitutes a quorum to conduct its business, to exercise its 
 63.10  powers, and for all other purposes.  The board may conduct its 
 63.11  business by any technological means available, including 
 63.12  teleconference calls or interactive video, that allows for an 
 63.13  interaction between members.  If a meeting is conducted under 
 63.14  this paragraph, a specific location must be available for the 
 63.15  public to attend the meeting and at least one member must be 
 63.16  present at that location. 
 63.17     (c) Board members are not liable for any debt or obligation 
 63.18  of the authority. 
 63.19     Subd. 2.  [ACCOUNT CREATED; APPROPRIATION.] (a) The 
 63.20  advanced services revolving loan account is created in the 
 63.21  Minnesota universal service fund.  All principal and interest 
 63.22  payments received from borrowers from the advanced services 
 63.23  revolving loan account must be deposited in the Minnesota 
 63.24  universal service fund advanced services revolving loan 
 63.25  account.  $100,000,000 must be transferred in fiscal year 2002 
 63.26  from the Minnesota state universal service fund to the advanced 
 63.27  services revolving loan account as cash flow permits to 
 63.28  implement and administer this section. 
 63.29     (b) Money in the account is annually appropriated to the 
 63.30  department of commerce for the purposes of implementing this 
 63.31  section.  Money appropriated to the department may be used for: 
 63.32     (1) operating expenses of the board, including a nominal 
 63.33  stipend for loan board members' service, overhead, expenses, 
 63.34  processing of loan applications, indirect costs, and other 
 63.35  reasonable expenses not to exceed $100,000 annually; 
 63.36     (2) loans made to telecommunications service providers for 
 64.1   the purpose of deploying advanced telecommunications services; 
 64.2   and 
 64.3      (3) advanced service catalyst grants issued under this 
 64.4   section. 
 64.5      (c) The commissioner may annually lend up to 80 percent of 
 64.6   projected account resources. 
 64.7      (d) Beginning in fiscal year 2003, up to 20 percent of the 
 64.8   amount of the loan fund balance at the end of the previous 
 64.9   fiscal year is appropriated to the department of trade and 
 64.10  economic development for the purposes of issuing catalyst grants 
 64.11  targeted at the deployment of advanced services. 
 64.12     Subd. 3.  [LOAN APPLICATIONS.] (a) A telecommunications 
 64.13  service provider or operator of a private shared 
 64.14  telecommunications service may apply for a revolving loan for 
 64.15  the purpose of deploying advanced telecommunications services in 
 64.16  Minnesota. 
 64.17     (b) The commissioner shall develop a standard loan 
 64.18  application form to which all loan applicants shall adhere, 
 64.19  designed to inform the department about the qualifications of 
 64.20  loan applicants based on the criteria set forth in subdivision 4.
 64.21     Subd. 4.  [LOAN QUALIFICATION CRITERIA.] In determining 
 64.22  whether loans should be made to an applicant, the department 
 64.23  shall apply the following criteria: 
 64.24     (1) a demonstrated need in the proposed service area for 
 64.25  the service which the applicant proposes to provide using the 
 64.26  loan proceeds; 
 64.27     (2) the financial need of the applicant; 
 64.28     (3) the risk of default on the loan; and 
 64.29     (4) whether the applicant is affiliated with another 
 64.30  telecommunications service provider that has already received a 
 64.31  loan from the Minnesota universal service fund. 
 64.32     Subd. 5.  [TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LOANS; RULES.] (a) The 
 64.33  department of commerce shall develop a standard lending 
 64.34  agreement.  Loan agreements must provide for the following 
 64.35  minimum standard terms and conditions: 
 64.36     (1) the department may loan money at interest rates from 
 65.1   zero percent to a maximum of the prime rate at the time a loan 
 65.2   is made; 
 65.3      (2) the state may take a security interest in the 
 65.4   facilities that are to be purchased with the loan proceeds; and 
 65.5      (3) loans must be binding on all successors and assigns of 
 65.6   the borrower. 
 65.7      (b) The commissioner may prescribe rules for the advanced 
 65.8   services loan program as the commissioner deems necessary. 
 65.9      Subd. 6.  [CATALYST GRANTS.] Beginning in fiscal year 2003, 
 65.10  the department of trade and economic development shall implement 
 65.11  a grant program for the purpose of providing catalyst grants to 
 65.12  local governments and tribal communities for deployment of 
 65.13  advanced services.  The catalyst grants must be targeted toward 
 65.14  providing access to advanced telecommunications services in 
 65.15  geographic areas or to classifications of consumers not likely 
 65.16  to be served by existing technology.  The department shall issue 
 65.17  rules and a standard proposal form for implementing this 
 65.18  program.  Applicants for catalyst grants must provide matching 
 65.19  funds of at least 50 percent of the amount sought from the 
 65.20  catalyst grant.  
 65.21                             ARTICLE 6 
 65.22                            RIGHT-OF-WAY 
 65.23     Section 1.  [237A.62] [PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY; DEFINITIONS.] 
 65.24     Subdivision 1.  [APPLICABILITY.] The terms used in this 
 65.25  section and section 237A.63 have the meanings given them in this 
 65.26  section.  [237.162, subd 1] 
 65.27     Subd. 2.  [EXCAVATE.] "Excavate" means to dig into or in 
 65.28  any way remove, physically disturb, or penetrate a part of a 
 65.29  public right-of-way.  [237.162, subd 5] 
 65.30     Subd. 3.  [LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT.] "Local government unit" 
 65.31  means a county, home rule charter or statutory city, or town.  
 65.32  [237.162, subd 2] 
 65.33     Subd. 4.  [MANAGE THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.] "Manage the 
 65.34  public right-of-way" means the authority of a local government 
 65.35  unit to do any or all of the following: 
 65.36     (1) require registration; 
 66.1      (2) require construction performance bonds and insurance 
 66.2   coverage; 
 66.3      (3) establish installation and construction standards; 
 66.4      (4) establish and define location and relocation 
 66.5   requirements for equipment and facilities; 
 66.6      (5) establish coordination and timing requirements; 
 66.7      (6) require telecommunications right-of-way users to 
 66.8   submit, for right-of-way projects commenced after May 10, 1997, 
 66.9   whether initiated by a local government unit or any 
 66.10  telecommunications right-of-way user, project data reasonably 
 66.11  necessary to allow the local government unit to develop a 
 66.12  right-of-way mapping system, such as a geographical information 
 66.13  mapping system; 
 66.14     (7) require telecommunication right-of-way users to submit, 
 66.15  upon request of a local government unit, existing data on the 
 66.16  location of the user's facilities occupying the public 
 66.17  right-of-way within the local government unit, which may be 
 66.18  submitted in the form maintained by the user and in a reasonable 
 66.19  time after receipt of the request based on the amount of data 
 66.20  requested; 
 66.21     (8) establish right-of-way permitting requirements for 
 66.22  street excavation and obstruction; 
 66.23     (9) establish removal requirements for abandoned equipment 
 66.24  or facilities, if required in conjunction with other 
 66.25  right-of-way repair, excavation, or construction; and 
 66.26     (10) impose reasonable penalties for unreasonable delays in 
 66.27  construction.  [237.162, subd 8] 
 66.28     Subd. 5.  [MANAGEMENT COSTS OR RIGHTS-OF-WAY MANAGEMENT 
 66.29  COSTS.] "Management costs" or "rights-of-way management costs" 
 66.30  means the actual costs a local government unit incurs in 
 66.31  managing its public rights-of-way, and includes such costs, if 
 66.32  incurred, as those associated with registering applicants; 
 66.33  issuing, processing, and verifying right-of-way permit 
 66.34  applications; inspecting job sites and restoration projects; 
 66.35  maintaining, supporting, protecting, or moving user equipment 
 66.36  during public right-of-way work; determining the adequacy of 
 67.1   right-of-way restoration; restoring work inadequately performed 
 67.2   after providing notice and the opportunity to correct the work; 
 67.3   and revoking right-of-way permits.  Management costs do not 
 67.4   include payment by a telecommunications right-of-way user for 
 67.5   the use of the public right-of-way, the fees and cost of 
 67.6   litigation relating to the interpretation of this section or 
 67.7   section 237A.63 or any ordinance enacted under those sections, 
 67.8   or the local unit of government's fees and costs related to 
 67.9   appeals taken pursuant to section 237A.63, subdivision 5.  
 67.10  [237.162, subd 9] 
 67.11     Subd. 6.  [OBSTRUCT.] "Obstruct" means to place a tangible 
 67.12  object in a public right-of-way so as to hinder free and open 
 67.13  passage over that or any part of the right-of-way.  [237.162, 
 67.14  subd 6] 
 67.15     Subd. 7.  [PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.] (a) "Public right-of-way" 
 67.16  means the area on, below, or above a public roadway, highway, 
 67.17  street, cartway, bicycle lane, and public sidewalk in which the 
 67.18  local government unit has an interest, including other dedicated 
 67.19  rights-of-way for travel purposes and utility easements of local 
 67.20  government units. 
 67.21     (b) A public right-of-way does not include the airwaves 
 67.22  above a public right-of-way with regard to cellular or other 
 67.23  nonwire telecommunications or broadcast service.  [237.162, subd 
 67.24  3] 
 67.25     Subd. 8.  [RIGHT-OF-WAY PERMIT.] "Right-of-way permit" 
 67.26  means a permit to perform work in a public right-of-way, whether 
 67.27  to excavate or obstruct the right-of-way.  [237.162, subd 7] 
 67.28     Subd. 9.  [TELECOMMUNICATIONS RIGHT-OF-WAY 
 67.29  USER.] "Telecommunications right-of-way user" means a person 
 67.30  owning or controlling a facility in the public right-of-way, or 
 67.31  seeking to own or control a facility in the public right-of-way, 
 67.32  that is used or is intended to be used for transporting 
 67.33  telecommunications or other voice or data information.  
 67.34  Telecommunications activities related to providing natural gas 
 67.35  or electric energy services whether provided by a public utility 
 67.36  as defined in section 216B.02, a municipality, a municipal gas 
 68.1   or power agency organized under chapter 453 or 453A, or a 
 68.2   cooperative electric association organized under chapter 308A, 
 68.3   are not telecommunications right-of-way users for the purposes 
 68.4   of this section and section 237A.63.  [237.162, subd 4] 
 68.5      Sec. 2.  [237A.63] [USE AND REGULATION OF PUBLIC 
 68.6   RIGHT-OF-WAY.] 
 68.7      Subdivision 1.  [LEGISLATIVE FINDING.] (a) The legislature 
 68.8   finds and establishes the principle that it is in the state's 
 68.9   interest that the use and regulation of public rights-of-way be 
 68.10  carried on in a fair, efficient, competitively neutral, and 
 68.11  substantially uniform manner, while recognizing this regulation 
 68.12  must reflect the distinct engineering, construction, operation, 
 68.13  maintenance, and public and worker safety requirements and 
 68.14  standards applicable to various users of public rights-of-way.  
 68.15     (b) Because of the potential for installation by 
 68.16  telecommunications service providers of multiple and competing 
 68.17  facilities within the public rights-of-way, the legislature 
 68.18  finds it is necessary to enact this section and section 237A.64 
 68.19  to specifically authorize local government units to regulate the 
 68.20  use of public rights-of-way by telecommunications right-of-way 
 68.21  users. 
 68.22     Subd. 2.  [AUTHORITIES; GENERALLY.] (a) Subject to this 
 68.23  section, a telecommunications right-of-way user authorized to do 
 68.24  business under the laws of this state or by license of the 
 68.25  Federal Communications Commission may construct, maintain, and 
 68.26  operate conduit, cable, switches, and related appurtenances and 
 68.27  facilities along, across, upon, above, and under any public 
 68.28  right-of-way. 
 68.29     (b) Subject to this section, a local government unit has 
 68.30  the authority to manage its public rights-of-way and to recover 
 68.31  its rights-of-way management costs.  The authority defined in 
 68.32  this section may be exercised at the option of the local 
 68.33  government unit.  The exercise of this authority is not mandated 
 68.34  under this section.  A local government unit may, by ordinance, 
 68.35  require a right-of-way user to obtain a permit, to register, and 
 68.36  to submit plans as described in paragraphs (c) through (f). 
 69.1      (c) A local government unit may require a 
 69.2   telecommunications right-of-way user seeking to excavate or 
 69.3   obstruct a public right-of-way for the purpose of providing 
 69.4   telecommunications services to obtain a right-of-way permit to 
 69.5   do so and to impose permit conditions consistent with the local 
 69.6   government unit's management of the right-of-way. 
 69.7      (d) A local unit of government may require a 
 69.8   telecommunications right-of-way user using, occupying, or 
 69.9   seeking to use or occupy a public right-of-way for the purpose 
 69.10  of providing telecommunications services to register with the 
 69.11  local government unit by providing the local government unit 
 69.12  with the following information: 
 69.13     (1) the applicant's name, gopher state one-call 
 69.14  registration number under section 216D.03, address, and 
 69.15  telephone and facsimile numbers; 
 69.16     (2) the name, address, and telephone and facsimile numbers 
 69.17  of the applicant's local representative; 
 69.18     (3) proof of adequate insurance; and 
 69.19     (4) other information deemed reasonably necessary by the 
 69.20  local government unit for the efficient administration of the 
 69.21  public right-of-way. 
 69.22     (e) The local government unit may require a 
 69.23  telecommunications right-of-way user to submit to the local 
 69.24  government unit plans for construction and major maintenance 
 69.25  that provide reasonable notice to the local government unit of 
 69.26  any project that the telecommunications right-of-way user 
 69.27  expects to undertake that may require excavation and obstruction 
 69.28  of public rights-of-way. 
 69.29     (f) A local government unit may also require a 
 69.30  telecommunications right-of-way user that is registered with the 
 69.31  local government unit pursuant to paragraph (d) to periodically 
 69.32  update the information in its registration application. 
 69.33     Subd. 3.  [RESTORATION.] (a) A telecommunications 
 69.34  right-of-way user, after an excavation of a public right-of-way, 
 69.35  shall provide for restoration of the right-of-way and 
 69.36  surrounding areas, including the pavement and its foundation, in 
 70.1   the same condition that existed before the excavation.  Local 
 70.2   government units that choose to perform their own surface 
 70.3   restoration required as a result of the excavation may require 
 70.4   telecommunications right-of-way users to reimburse the 
 70.5   reasonable costs of that surface restoration.  Restoration of 
 70.6   the public right-of-way must be completed within the dates 
 70.7   specified in the right-of-way permit, unless the permittee 
 70.8   obtains a waiver or a new or amended right-of-way permit. 
 70.9      (b) If a telecommunications right-of-way user elects not to 
 70.10  restore the public right-of-way, a local government unit may 
 70.11  impose a degradation fee in lieu of restoration to recover costs 
 70.12  associated with a decrease in the useful life of the public 
 70.13  right-of-way caused by the excavation of the right-of-way by a 
 70.14  telecommunications right-of-way user. 
 70.15     (c) A telecommunications right-of-way user that disturbs 
 70.16  uncultivated sod in the excavation or obstruction of a public 
 70.17  right-of-way shall plant grasses that are native to Minnesota 
 70.18  and, wherever practicable, that are of the local ecotype, as 
 70.19  part of the restoration required under this subdivision, unless 
 70.20  the owner of the real property over which the public 
 70.21  right-of-way traverses objects.  In restoring the right-of-way, 
 70.22  the telecommunications right-of-way user shall consult with the 
 70.23  department of natural resources regarding the species of native 
 70.24  grasses that conform to the requirements of this paragraph. 
 70.25     Subd. 4.  [PERMIT DENIAL OR REVOCATION.] (a) A local 
 70.26  government unit may deny any application for a right-of-way 
 70.27  permit if the telecommunications right-of-way user does not 
 70.28  comply with a provision of this section. 
 70.29     (b) A local government unit may deny an application for a 
 70.30  right-of-way permit if the local government unit determines that 
 70.31  the denial is necessary to protect the health, safety, and 
 70.32  welfare or when necessary to protect the public right-of-way and 
 70.33  its current use. 
 70.34     (c) A local government unit may revoke a right-of-way 
 70.35  permit granted to a telecommunications right-of-way user, with 
 70.36  or without fee refund, in the event of a substantial breach of 
 71.1   the terms and conditions of statute, ordinance, rule, or 
 71.2   regulation or any material condition of the permit.  A 
 71.3   substantial breach by a permittee includes, but is not limited 
 71.4   to, the following: 
 71.5      (1) a material violation of a provision of the right-of-way 
 71.6   permit; 
 71.7      (2) an evasion or attempt to evade any material provision 
 71.8   of the right-of-way permit, or the perpetration or attempt to 
 71.9   perpetrate any fraud or deceit upon the local government unit or 
 71.10  its citizens; 
 71.11     (3) a material misrepresentation of fact in the 
 71.12  right-of-way permit application; 
 71.13     (4) a failure to complete work in a timely manner, unless a 
 71.14  permit extension is obtained or unless the failure to complete 
 71.15  work is due to reasons beyond the permittee's control; and 
 71.16     (5) a failure to correct, in a timely manner, work that 
 71.17  does not conform to applicable standards, conditions, or codes, 
 71.18  upon inspection and notification by the local government unit of 
 71.19  the faulty condition. 
 71.20     (d) Subject to this subdivision, a local government unit 
 71.21  may not deny an application for a right-of-way permit for 
 71.22  failure to include a project in a plan submitted to the local 
 71.23  government unit under subdivision 2, paragraph (e), when the 
 71.24  telecommunications right-of-way user has used commercially 
 71.25  reasonable efforts to anticipate and plan for the project. 
 71.26     (e) In no event may a local government unit unreasonably 
 71.27  withhold approval of an application for a right-of-way permit, 
 71.28  or unreasonably revoke a permit. 
 71.29     Subd. 5.  [APPEAL.] (a) A telecommunications right-of-way 
 71.30  user that (1) has been denied registration, (2) has been denied 
 71.31  a right-of-way permit, (3) has had its right-of-way permit 
 71.32  revoked, or (4) believes that the fees imposed on the user by 
 71.33  the local government unit do not conform to the requirements of 
 71.34  subdivision 6, may have the denial, revocation, or fee 
 71.35  imposition reviewed, upon written request, by the governing body 
 71.36  of the local government unit.  The governing body of the local 
 72.1   government unit shall act on a timely written request at its 
 72.2   next regularly scheduled meeting.  A decision by the governing 
 72.3   body affirming the denial, revocation, or fee imposition must be 
 72.4   in writing and supported by written findings establishing the 
 72.5   reasonableness of the decision. 
 72.6      (b) Upon affirmation by the governing body of the denial, 
 72.7   revocation, or fee imposition, the telecommunications 
 72.8   right-of-way user is entitled to have the matter resolved by 
 72.9   binding arbitration.  Binding arbitration must be before an 
 72.10  arbitrator agreed to by both the local government unit and the 
 72.11  telecommunications right-of-way user.  If the parties cannot 
 72.12  agree on an arbitrator, the matter must be resolved by a 
 72.13  three-person arbitration panel made up of one arbitrator 
 72.14  selected by the local government unit, one arbitrator selected 
 72.15  by the telecommunications right-of-way user, and one person 
 72.16  selected by the other two arbitrators.  The costs and fees of a 
 72.17  single arbitrator must be borne equally by the local government 
 72.18  unit and the telecommunications right-of-way user.  If a third 
 72.19  arbitrator is selected, each party shall bear the expense of its 
 72.20  own arbitrator and shall jointly and equally bear with the other 
 72.21  party the expense of the third arbitrator and of the arbitration.
 72.22  Each party to the arbitration shall pay its own costs, 
 72.23  disbursements, and attorney fees. 
 72.24     Subd. 6.  [FEES.] (a) A local government unit may recover 
 72.25  its right-of-way management costs by imposing a fee for 
 72.26  registration, a fee for each right-of-way permit, or, when 
 72.27  appropriate, a fee applicable to a particular telecommunications 
 72.28  right-of-way user when that user causes the local government 
 72.29  unit to incur costs as a result of actions or inactions of that 
 72.30  user.  A local government unit may not recover from a 
 72.31  telecommunications right-of-way user costs caused by another 
 72.32  entity's activity in the right-of-way. 
 72.33     (b) Fees, or other right-of-way obligations, imposed by a 
 72.34  local government unit on telecommunications right-of-way users 
 72.35  under this section must be: 
 72.36     (1) based on the actual costs incurred by the local 
 73.1   government unit in managing the public right-of-way; 
 73.2      (2) based on an allocation among all users of the public 
 73.3   right-of-way, including the local government unit itself, which 
 73.4   shall reflect the proportionate costs imposed on the local 
 73.5   government unit by each of the various types of uses of the 
 73.6   public rights-of-way; 
 73.7      (3) imposed on a competitively neutral basis; and 
 73.8      (4) imposed in a manner so that aboveground uses of public 
 73.9   rights-of-way do not bear costs incurred by the local government 
 73.10  unit to regulate underground uses of public rights-of-way. 
 73.11     Subd. 7.  [RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, GENERALLY; 
 73.12  FRANCHISES.] The rights, duties, and obligations regarding the 
 73.13  use of the public right-of-way imposed under this section must 
 73.14  be applied to all users of the public right-of-way, including 
 73.15  the local government unit while recognizing regulation must 
 73.16  reflect the distinct engineering, construction, operation, 
 73.17  maintenance, public and worker safety requirements, and 
 73.18  standards applicable to various users of the public 
 73.19  rights-of-way.  For users subject to the franchising authority 
 73.20  of a local government unit, to the extent those rights, duties, 
 73.21  and obligations are addressed in the terms of an applicable 
 73.22  franchise agreement, the terms of the franchise prevail over any 
 73.23  conflicting provision in an ordinance. 
 73.24     Subd. 8.  [LIMITATIONS ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS.] In 
 73.25  managing the public rights-of-way and in imposing fees under 
 73.26  this section, no local government unit may: 
 73.27     (1) unlawfully discriminate among telecommunications 
 73.28  right-of-way users; 
 73.29     (2) grant a preference to any telecommunications 
 73.30  right-of-way user; 
 73.31     (3) create or erect any unreasonable requirement for entry 
 73.32  to the public rights-of-way by telecommunications right-of-way 
 73.33  users; or 
 73.34     (4) require a telecommunications right-of-way user to 
 73.35  obtain a franchise or pay for the use of the right-of-way. 
 73.36     Subd. 9.  [PREVIOUSLY ISSUED PERMITS.] A telecommunications 
 74.1   right-of-way user need not apply for or obtain right-of-way 
 74.2   permits for facilities that are located in public rights-of-way 
 74.3   on May 10, 1997, for which the user has obtained the required 
 74.4   consent of the local government unit, or that are otherwise 
 74.5   lawfully occupying the public right-of-way.  However, the 
 74.6   telecommunications right-of-way user may be required to register 
 74.7   and to obtain a right-of-way permit for an excavation or 
 74.8   obstruction of existing facilities within the public 
 74.9   right-of-way after May 10, 1997. 
 74.10     Subd. 10.  [DATA CLASSIFICATION.] Data and documents 
 74.11  exchanged between a local government unit and a 
 74.12  telecommunications right-of-way user are subject to the terms of 
 74.13  chapter 13.  A local government unit not complying with this 
 74.14  subdivision is subject to the penalties set forth in section 
 74.15  13.08. 
 74.16     Subd. 11.  [IN-KIND SERVICES.] A local government unit may 
 74.17  not collect a fee imposed under this section through the 
 74.18  provision of in-kind services by a telecommunications 
 74.19  right-of-way user, nor may a local government unit require the 
 74.20  provision of in-kind services as a condition of consent to use 
 74.21  the local government unit's public right-of-way. 
 74.22     Subd. 12.  [UNIFORM STATEWIDE CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS.] (a) 
 74.23  To ensure the safe and convenient use of public rights-of-way in 
 74.24  the state, the commission shall maintain uniform statewide 
 74.25  construction standards where appropriate, providing competitive 
 74.26  neutrality among telecommunications right-of-way users and 
 74.27  permitting efficient use of technology.  The standards must 
 74.28  govern: 
 74.29     (1) the terms and conditions of right-of-way construction, 
 74.30  excavation, maintenance, and repair; and 
 74.31     (2) the terms and conditions under which telecommunications 
 74.32  facilities and equipment are placed in the public right-of-way. 
 74.33     (b) The public utilities commission is authorized to 
 74.34  review, upon complaint by an aggrieved telecommunications 
 74.35  right-of-way user, a decision or regulation by a local 
 74.36  government unit that is alleged to violate a statewide standard. 
 75.1      (c) A local unit of government may not adopt an ordinance 
 75.2   or other regulation that conflicts with a standard adopted by 
 75.3   the commission for the purposes described in paragraph (a).  
 75.4   [237.163] 
 75.5      Sec. 3.  [237A.64] [SCOPE.] 
 75.6      To the extent they regulate telecommunications right-of-way 
 75.7   users, sections 237A.62 and 237A.63 supersede sections 222.37, 
 75.8   300.03, and 300.04, and any ordinance, regulation, or rule to 
 75.9   the contrary.  [New] 
 75.10     Sec. 4.  [237A.65] [WIRE CROSSING OR PARALLELING UTILITY 
 75.11  LINE; RULES.] 
 75.12     (a) The department of commerce shall determine and adopt 
 75.13  reasonable rules covering the maintenance, operation, nature, 
 75.14  location, and construction where telecommunication, electric 
 75.15  light, power, or other electric wires of any kind, or any 
 75.16  natural gas pipelines, cross or approximately parallel the lines 
 75.17  of any railroad, interurban railway, or other similar public 
 75.18  service corporation.  To this end, the department shall adopt 
 75.19  general rules covering each class of construction, maintenance, 
 75.20  and operation of any electric wire or natural gas pipeline 
 75.21  crossing or paralleling the railroad, railway, or similar public 
 75.22  service corporation, under the various conditions existing.  The 
 75.23  department, upon the complaint of any person, railroad, 
 75.24  interurban railway, municipal utility, cooperative electric 
 75.25  association, or other public utility claiming to be injured or 
 75.26  subjected to hazard by crossing or paralleling lines constructed 
 75.27  or about to be constructed, shall, after a hearing, make an 
 75.28  order and prescribe terms and conditions for constructing, 
 75.29  maintaining, and operating the lines in question as may be just 
 75.30  and reasonable. 
 75.31     (b) The department may, upon request of a municipal 
 75.32  utility, electric cooperative association, or public utility, 
 75.33  determine the just and reasonable charge that a railroad, or 
 75.34  owner of an abandoned railroad right-of-way, can prescribe for a 
 75.35  new or existing crossing of a railroad right-of-way by an 
 75.36  electric or gas line, based on the diminution in value caused by 
 76.1   the crossing of the right-of-way by the electric or gas line.  
 76.2   This section does not eliminate the right of a public utility, 
 76.3   municipal utility, or electric cooperative association to have 
 76.4   any of these issues determined pursuant to an eminent domain 
 76.5   proceeding commenced under chapter 117.  Unless the railroad, or 
 76.6   owner of an abandoned railroad right-of-way, asserts in writing 
 76.7   that the proposed crossing is a serious threat to the safe 
 76.8   operations of the railroad or to the current use of the railroad 
 76.9   right-of-way, a crossing can be constructed following filing of 
 76.10  the requested action with the department, pending review of the 
 76.11  requested action by the department. 
 76.12     (c) The department shall assess the cost of reviewing the 
 76.13  requested action and determining a just and reasonable charge, 
 76.14  equally among the parties. 
 76.15     (d) The department shall enforce this section and, for that 
 76.16  purpose, may cause the removal or reconstruction of the 
 76.17  telephone, telegraph, electric light, power, or other electric 
 76.18  wires crossing or paralleling such other lines and not in 
 76.19  accordance with the orders and rules issued by the department.  
 76.20  [237.04] 
 76.21                             ARTICLE 7 
 76.22                               CABLE 
 76.23     Section 1.  [237A.71] [DEFINITIONS.] 
 76.24     Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] Notwithstanding section 237A.01, 
 76.25  subdivision 1, the terms used in sections 237A.71 to 237A.93 
 76.26  have the meanings given them in this section.  If a term used in 
 76.27  sections 237A.71 to 237A.93 is not defined in this section, it 
 76.28  has the meaning given it in section 237A.01.  [238.22, subd 1] 
 76.29     Subd. 2.  [ACCESS.] "Access" means entrance onto the 
 76.30  premises of the property owner and an easement for purposes of 
 76.31  surveying, designing, installing, inspecting, maintaining, 
 76.32  operating, repairing, replacing, or removing equipment used in 
 76.33  the provision of telecommunications or cable services. [238.22, 
 76.34  subd. 6] 
 76.35     Subd. 3.  [BASIC CABLE SERVICE.] "Basic cable service" 
 76.36  means any cable service tier that includes the lawful 
 77.1   retransmission of local television broadcast signals and any 
 77.2   public, educational, and governmental access programming 
 77.3   required under a franchise to be carried on the basic tier.  
 77.4   [New] 
 77.5      Subd. 4.  [CABLE SERVICE PROVIDER.] "Cable service provider"
 77.6   means any person who provides cable services pursuant to a 
 77.7   franchise.  [New] 
 77.8      Subd. 5.  [CONDUIT SYSTEM.] Conduit system means a 
 77.9   reinforced passage or opening in, on, under, or through the 
 77.10  ground capable of containing communications facilities and 
 77.11  includes the following:  main conduit; underground dips and 
 77.12  short sections of conduit under roadways, driveways, parking 
 77.13  lots, and similar conduit installations; laterals to poles and 
 77.14  into buildings; ducts; and manholes. [238.36, subd. 3] 
 77.15     Subd. 6.  [DWELLING UNIT.] "Dwelling unit" means a single 
 77.16  unit providing complete, independent, living facilities for one 
 77.17  or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, 
 77.18  sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.  [238.22, subd. 2] 
 77.19     Subd. 7.  [FRANCHISE.] "Franchise" means the rights and 
 77.20  obligations extended by the commission, or a local government 
 77.21  unit prior to the effective date of this chapter, to a person to 
 77.22  provide cable service within a franchise area. [New] 
 77.23     Subd. 8.  [FRANCHISE AREA.] "Franchise area" means the area 
 77.24  within the corporate boundaries of a local government unit as 
 77.25  now constituted or may in the future be constituted. [New] 
 77.26     Subd. 9.  [FRANCHISE FEE.] "Franchise fee" means any fee or 
 77.27  assessment of any kind imposed by the state or a local 
 77.28  government unit on a cable service provider or subscriber, which 
 77.29  is not applicable to telecommunications service providers or 
 77.30  other utility service providers.  Franchise fee does not include 
 77.31  (1) any tax, fee, or assessment of general applicability, 
 77.32  including any tax, fee, or assessment imposed on both 
 77.33  telecommunications service providers, utilities, and cable 
 77.34  operators or their services but not including a tax, fee, or 
 77.35  assessment that is unduly discriminatory against cable operators 
 77.36  or subscribers, (2) capital costs that are required by a 
 78.1   franchise to be incurred by a cable service provider for public, 
 78.2   educational, and governmental access facilities, (3) 
 78.3   requirements or charges incidental to the award or enforcement 
 78.4   of a franchise, including payments for bonds, security funds, 
 78.5   letters of credit, insurance, indemnification, penalties, or 
 78.6   liquidated damages, or (4) any fee imposed under United States 
 78.7   Code, title 17.  [New] 
 78.8      Subd. 10.  [GROSS CABLE SERVICE REVENUE.] "Gross cable 
 78.9   service revenue" means any revenue derived directly or 
 78.10  indirectly by a cable service provider including, but not 
 78.11  limited to, basic cable service, cable programming service tier, 
 78.12  premium cable services, pay-per-view cable services, 
 78.13  installation and reconnection fees, franchise fees, leased 
 78.14  channel fees, converter rentals, and advertising revenues within 
 78.15  a franchise area.  The term does not include any revenue derived 
 78.16  from the delivery of telecommunication services, or taxes on 
 78.17  services furnished by cable service provider and imposed 
 78.18  directly upon any subscriber or user by federal, state, or local 
 78.19  law and collected by cable service provider on behalf of that 
 78.20  governmental unit. [238.02, subd. 6] 
 78.21     Subd. 11.  [INSTITUTIONAL NETWORKS.] "Institutional 
 78.22  networks" are facilities owned by a cable service provider that 
 78.23  may be dedicated to local government units for 
 78.24  telecommunications pursuant to a franchise. 
 78.25     Subd. 12.  [LOCAL ORIGINATION.] "Local origination" refers 
 78.26  to channel capacity and programming designated for local 
 78.27  interest that is produced by local government units, cable 
 78.28  service providers, or their designees. 
 78.29     Subd. 13.  [MULTIPLE DWELLING COMPLEX.] "Multiple dwelling 
 78.30  complex" means a site, lot, field, or tract of land or water, 
 78.31  other than a common interest community or mobile home park, 
 78.32  whether occupied or under construction, containing more than 
 78.33  four dwelling units. [238.22, subd. 3] 
 78.34     Subd. 14.  [PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND GOVERNMENT 
 78.35  ACCESS.] "Public, educational, and government access" refers to 
 78.36  the channel capacity designated for noncommercial public, 
 79.1   educational, or governmental use and facilities and the 
 79.2   equipment necessary for the use of that channel capacity. [New] 
 79.3      Subd. 15.  [PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY POLES.] "Public utility 
 79.4   company poles" means poles owned by the public utility and poles 
 79.5   owned by others on which the public utility has the right to 
 79.6   permit others to attach in the communications space on the pole. 
 79.7   [238.36, subd. 4] 
 79.8      Subd. 16.  [STANDARD INSTALLATION.] "Standard installation" 
 79.9   means any residential installation that can be completed using a 
 79.10  drop of 150 feet or less. [New] 
 79.11     Subd. 17.  [SUBSCRIBER.] "Subscriber" means any person 
 79.12  lawfully subscribing to a cable service provided by the cable 
 79.13  service provider. [New] 
 79.14     Sec. 2.  [237A.72] [STATE IS CABLE FRANCHISOR; TRANSITION.] 
 79.15     Subdivision 1.  [STATE AUTHORITY.] The state is the 
 79.16  franchisor for all cable franchises granted in the state and has 
 79.17  the exclusive authority to approve the grant of a cable 
 79.18  franchise and the terms and conditions of cable franchises.  All 
 79.19  local government units or consortiums of local government units 
 79.20  located within an area franchised by the commission are deemed 
 79.21  parties to such franchises and have the right to intervene in 
 79.22  any matter pertaining to the franchise before the commission. 
 79.23     Subd. 2.  [NEGOTIATING FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS.] The 
 79.24  department and local government units within the franchise area 
 79.25  shall negotiate with existing franchisees to conform their 
 79.26  franchise agreements to the provisions of this section.  
 79.27  Notwithstanding section 237A.80, existing franchises that 
 79.28  include provisions relating to public, educational, and 
 79.29  governmental access, local origination, or institutional 
 79.30  networks must not be changed.  If the negotiations are not 
 79.31  successful, a franchise may continue according to its terms, for 
 79.32  the shortest period required under the franchise.  All cable 
 79.33  franchises entered into after January 1, 2003, must comply with 
 79.34  this section.  The department and local government units within 
 79.35  the franchise area are responsible for negotiating and agreeing 
 79.36  to new cable franchises under this section.  If agreement cannot 
 80.1   be reached, the commission shall order modifications to the 
 80.2   terms and conditions of the franchise. [New] 
 80.3      Sec. 3.  [237A.73] [AUTHORITY TO GRANT AND ENFORCE 
 80.4   FRANCHISES.] 
 80.5      Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSION FRANCHISING AUTHORITY.] (a) The 
 80.6   commission has the exclusive authority to grant nonexclusive 
 80.7   franchises to persons to provide cable service within one or 
 80.8   more franchise areas in Minnesota. 
 80.9      (b) It is unlawful for any person to provide cable service 
 80.10  in a franchise area without a franchise. 
 80.11     (c) The commission shall not grant a franchise to any 
 80.12  person on terms that, when the obligations and benefits of the 
 80.13  franchises as a whole are compared, are more favorable or less 
 80.14  burdensome than a franchise previously granted to a person 
 80.15  within that franchise area.  Cash or in-kind franchise 
 80.16  obligations of cable service providers for public, educational, 
 80.17  and government access equipment, facilities, capital grants, 
 80.18  local origination, and institutional networks must be shared by 
 80.19  subsequent franchises as determined by the commission.  
 80.20  Subsequent franchises are not required to agree to the exact 
 80.21  terms and conditions of existing franchises. 
 80.22     (d) The commission shall not grant a franchise for a term 
 80.23  longer than 15 years. 
 80.24     Subd. 2.  [PREVIOUS FRANCHISES.] Upon acceptance by a cable 
 80.25  service provider of a franchise granted by the commission, the 
 80.26  new franchise supersedes and replaces all previous ordinances, 
 80.27  amendments, or agreements granting a franchise to a cable 
 80.28  service provider or any predecessor cable operator. 
 80.29     Subd. 3.  [FRANCHISE AREA.] A cable service provider shall 
 80.30  provide cable service to the entire franchise area designated by 
 80.31  the commission in a franchise. 
 80.32     Subd. 4.  [ENFORCEMENT.] The commission has the 
 80.33  jurisdiction to enforce franchises and sections 297A.71 to 
 80.34  297A.94, but upon request may delegate its enforcement authority 
 80.35  to a local government unit unless the local government unit 
 80.36  provides cable services through its own facilities.  [New] 
 81.1      Sec. 4.  [237A.74] [RATE REGULATION.] 
 81.2      Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY.] The commission may regulate 
 81.3   rates for the provision of cable service and related equipment 
 81.4   to the extent allowed under federal or state law. 
 81.5      Subd. 2.  [RATES ON FILE.] A list of current subscriber 
 81.6   rates and charges must be on file with the department and the 
 81.7   local government unit at all times.  [New] 
 81.8      Sec. 5.  [237A.75] [CUSTOMER SERVICE OBLIGATIONS.] 
 81.9      Subdivision 1.  [INVESTIGATIONS.] A local government unit 
 81.10  may investigate allegations of noncompliance with a franchise, 
 81.11  this article, and any rules applicable to cable service 
 81.12  providers and adopted by the commission.  These allegations may 
 81.13  be made the subject of a formal complaint before the 
 81.14  commission.  Any investigation is limited to gathering evidence 
 81.15  relevant to the specific allegations in a formal complaint 
 81.16  before the commission. 
 81.17     Subd. 2.  [CHANGE NOTICE.] A cable service provider shall 
 81.18  notify the commission, the department, local government units 
 81.19  within the franchised area, and subscribers, in writing, of any 
 81.20  changes in rates, programming services, or channel positions 30 
 81.21  days before the changes become effective.  [New] 
 81.22     Sec. 6.  [237A.76] [EMERGENCY ALERT.] 
 81.23     Cable service providers shall provide emergency alert 
 81.24  override capabilities for use in the event of an emergency or if 
 81.25  other vital public information must be communicated by federal, 
 81.26  state, or local governments.  A cable service provider shall 
 81.27  provide emergency alert override capabilities in a manner 
 81.28  consistent with the Federal Communications Commission's 
 81.29  emergency alert system (EAS) regulations and consistent with any 
 81.30  applicable state and regional EAS plans adopted in response to 
 81.31  those regulations.  [New] 
 81.32     Sec. 7.  [237A.79] [REGIONAL CHANNEL.] 
 81.33     Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITION.] For the purposes of this 
 81.34  section "regional channel entity" means an independent, 
 81.35  nonprofit corporation to govern the operation of the regional 
 81.36  channel. 
 82.1      Subd. 2.  [LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE.] The purpose of this 
 82.2   section is to facilitate the activation of a metropolitan area 
 82.3   interconnected regional channel, to be uniformly carried on VHF 
 82.4   channel 6 on cable communications systems operating in the 
 82.5   metropolitan area in order to provide a broad range of 
 82.6   informational, educational, and public service programs and 
 82.7   materials to metropolitan area cable subscribers. 
 82.8      Subd. 3.  [VHF CHANNEL 6.] Franchises for cable services 
 82.9   operating wholly or partially within the metropolitan area must 
 82.10  contain a provision designating the standard VHF channel 6 for 
 82.11  uniform regional channel usage.  The designated regional channel 
 82.12  may be combined with the government access channel until the 
 82.13  video programming usage of the government access channel expands 
 82.14  to such point as it is in use during 80 percent of the time 
 82.15  between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. during any consecutive six-week 
 82.16  period.  Use of time on the regional channel must be made 
 82.17  available without charge. 
 82.18     Subd. 4.  [USE.] The regional channel will provide a broad 
 82.19  range of informational, educational, and public service programs 
 82.20  and materials to metropolitan area cable service subscribers. 
 82.21     Subd. 5.  [REGIONAL CHANNEL ENTITY; MEMBERS.] The 
 82.22  metropolitan council shall appoint the governing body of the 
 82.23  regional channel entity, which must consist of 15 members 
 82.24  appointed to staggered, three-year terms.  In the case of a 
 82.25  vacancy the council shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy 
 82.26  for the remainder of the unexpired term.  The metropolitan 
 82.27  council shall name three appointees from the recommendations 
 82.28  received from the association of metropolitan municipalities and 
 82.29  three from the recommendations received from the cable service 
 82.30  providers operating in the metropolitan area. 
 82.31     Subd. 6.  [REGIONAL CHANNEL OPERATOR.] The regional channel 
 82.32  entity may operate the regional channel or designate the 
 82.33  operator of the regional channel.  If the regional channel 
 82.34  entity designates the operator of the regional channel, the 
 82.35  designation must be for an initial period not exceeding three 
 82.36  years.  Before the expiration of the three-year period, the 
 83.1   regional channel entity shall review its designation and 
 83.2   consider renewal for a term not exceeding three years.  Nothing 
 83.3   in this section creates any right to renewal for the operator 
 83.4   designated by the regional channel entity.  [238.43] 
 83.5      Sec. 8.  [237A.80] [PUBLIC, EDUCATIONAL, AND GOVERNMENT 
 83.6   ACCESS.] 
 83.7      Subdivision 1.  [MINNESOTA PEG CHANNELS.] A cable service 
 83.8   provider shall make at least one public, educational, and 
 83.9   government (PEG) access channel available in its basic service 
 83.10  offering to subscribers.  Additional public, educational, and 
 83.11  government access channels may be required by the commission as 
 83.12  part of a franchise in certain communities based on a showing of 
 83.13  community need. 
 83.14     Subd. 2.  [VHF SPECTRUM.] Required access channels must be 
 83.15  transmitted on the VHF spectrum. 
 83.16     Subd. 3.  [LEASED ACCESS.] A cable service provider shall 
 83.17  offer leased commercial access programming to the public on 
 83.18  reasonable terms and conditions in accordance with federal law.  
 83.19  [New] 
 83.20     Subd. 4.  [REPORTS.] The department shall report to the 
 83.21  legislature once every two years on the status of public, 
 83.22  educational, and government access, and local origination 
 83.23  operations.  The department shall review the operations of 
 83.24  different access operations and report on the best practices, 
 83.25  areas in which improvements could be made, and efficiencies 
 83.26  achieved.  The department shall also assess the value that 
 83.27  consumers place on access operations taking into account the 
 83.28  cost of those operations to consumers. 
 83.29     Sec. 9.  [237A.81] [FRANCHISE FEE.] 
 83.30     Subdivision 1.  [FRANCHISE FEE PAID.] As requested by each 
 83.31  local government unit within the franchised area of a cable 
 83.32  service provider, the commission shall require a cable service 
 83.33  provider to pay each requesting local government unit within its 
 83.34  franchised area a franchise fee of up to five percent of its 
 83.35  gross cable service revenue derived from subscribers within the 
 83.36  jurisdictional boundaries of each requesting local government 
 84.1   unit.  The commission shall include franchise fee provisions in 
 84.2   the terms of any franchise granted.  Franchise fees must be paid 
 84.3   monthly, within 30 days of the end of each calendar month.  
 84.4      Subd. 2.  [OVERDUE PAYMENTS.] Cable service providers shall 
 84.5   pay interest on overdue franchise fee payments, and on payments 
 84.6   to correct underpayment of franchise fees, in addition to the 
 84.7   compensation due at an annual rate equal to the prime lending 
 84.8   rate plus 1-1/2 percent computed from the due date until the 
 84.9   date of payment.  
 84.10     Sec. 10.  [237A.82] [FRANCHISE REVOCATION.] 
 84.11     If the commission determines after a public hearing, that a 
 84.12  cable service provider is in default of any material provision 
 84.13  of this franchise, or has attempted to evade any of the material 
 84.14  provisions of this franchise, or has practiced fraud or deceit 
 84.15  upon a subscriber, the commission may revoke the franchise or 
 84.16  order any other relief it deems appropriate to remedy the 
 84.17  violation.  
 84.18     Sec. 11.  [237A.83] [MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS.] 
 84.19     Subdivision 1.  [PRIOR COMMISSION APPROVAL.] No person may 
 84.20  purchase, acquire, or assume control of (1) a franchise, (2) 
 84.21  facilities for the provision of cable service, (3) capital 
 84.22  stock, bonds, securities, or other obligations, or (4) the 
 84.23  rights, privileges, and immunities of any cable service provider 
 84.24  granted by the commission, without receiving the prior consent 
 84.25  of the commission. 
 84.26     Subd. 2.  [JOINT PETITION.] The transferor and transferee 
 84.27  of any property or other rights described in subdivision 1 shall 
 84.28  both join in the application filed with the commission for the 
 84.29  approval of the purchase, acquisition, or assumption of control. 
 84.30     Subd. 3.  [CUSTOMER NOTICE.] At least 120 days prior to 
 84.31  closing of any purchase, acquisition, or assumption of control 
 84.32  of the property, capital stock, bonds, securities, other 
 84.33  obligations, or the franchise rights, privileges, and immunities 
 84.34  of any cable service provider, the transferor must provide 
 84.35  notice to its affected customers and identify the name of the 
 84.36  proposed buyer.  The notice must be included as a separate 
 85.1   document from the customer's monthly bill, but may be delivered 
 85.2   to the customer under the same cover as a monthly bill.  
 85.3      Subd. 4.  [PUBLIC INTEREST STANDARD.] The commission shall 
 85.4   consent to a transfer subject to a determination that the 
 85.5   transaction is consistent with the public interest and that the 
 85.6   transferee has the financial and operational qualifications to 
 85.7   provide service in accordance with this chapter. 
 85.8      Subd. 5.  [DEADLINE FOR DECISION; EXTENSION.] (a) Subject 
 85.9   to paragraph (b), the commission has 120 days to act upon any 
 85.10  petition for approval of a transfer. 
 85.11     (b) If a cable service provider fails to provide the 
 85.12  department or the attorney general with all information 
 85.13  necessary for it to conduct an adequate investigation as to 
 85.14  whether the proposed transfer should be approved or rejected, 
 85.15  the commission may extend the 120-day review period until all 
 85.16  information has been provided at the request of the department 
 85.17  or the attorney general.  If the commission fails to render a 
 85.18  final decision on the request within the 120-day time period, 
 85.19  the request is deemed granted.  [New] 
 85.20     Sec. 12.  [237A.84] [FRANCHISE RENEWAL.] 
 85.21     All franchise renewal proceedings must be conducted in 
 85.22  accordance with federal law.  [New] 
 85.23     Sec. 13.  [237A.85] [AMENDMENT OF FRANCHISE.] 
 85.24     Subject to section 237A.72, the commission may amend a 
 85.25  franchise upon the petition of the department, the attorney 
 85.26  general, a local government unit, or the cable service provider 
 85.27  holding the franchise upon a determination by the commission 
 85.28  that the amendment will be in the public interest or is required 
 85.29  due to changes in federal or state law.  [New] 
 85.30     Sec. 14.  [237A.86] [FRANCHISE CONTENTS REQUIRED OR 
 85.31  PERMITTED.] 
 85.32     Subdivision 1.  [REQUIRED PROVISIONS.] Every franchise 
 85.33  granted by the commission must contain provisions addressing the 
 85.34  following issues: 
 85.35     (1) a provision regarding any required specifications of a 
 85.36  cable system that are necessary to meet the cable service needs 
 86.1   of subscribers within a franchise area; 
 86.2      (2) a provision addressing the schedule for any cable 
 86.3   system upgrades or rebuilds required by the commission under a 
 86.4   franchise; 
 86.5      (3) a provision setting forth the number of additional 
 86.6   public, educational, and government access channels, facilities, 
 86.7   and financing arrangements for the channel capacity and 
 86.8   facilities; and 
 86.9      (4) provisions relating to the management of public 
 86.10  rights-of-way by local government units, if not already provided 
 86.11  under state or local law.  [238.084, subds 1 to 3] 
 86.12     Subd. 2.  [OTHER FRANCHISE TERMS AND CONDITIONS PERMITTED.] 
 86.13     A franchise may contain additional terms and conditions as 
 86.14  the commission deems appropriate.  [238.084, subd 4] 
 86.15     Sec. 15.  [237A.88] [ACCESS REQUIRED.] 
 86.16     Subdivision 1.  [PROVISION OF ACCESS.] No 
 86.17  telecommunications, cable, or other multichannel video 
 86.18  programming services provider, may enter into exclusive 
 86.19  agreements with a property owner or other person controlling 
 86.20  access to the property owner's multiple dwelling complex, or 
 86.21  commercial development.  
 86.22     Subd. 2.  [RESIDENT'S RIGHTS.] The intent of sections 
 86.23  237A.71 to 237A.93 is to give residents the freedom to choose 
 86.24  among competing multichannel video programming or 
 86.25  telecommunications service providers.  No provision of sections 
 86.26  237A.71 to 237A.93 may be interpreted to require residents to 
 86.27  subscribe to any services offered by any multichannel video 
 86.28  programming or telecommunications service provider.  [238.23] 
 86.29     Sec. 16.  [237A.89] [CONDITION FOR ACCESS.] 
 86.30     Subdivision 1.  [IN GENERAL.] An installation of facilities 
 86.31  for providing multichannel video programming or 
 86.32  telecommunications services under sections 237A.71 to 237A.93 
 86.33  must conform to reasonable conditions necessary to protect the 
 86.34  safety, functioning, and aesthetic appearance of the premises, 
 86.35  and the convenience and well-being of the property owner and 
 86.36  residents. 
 87.1      Subd. 2.  [OWNER APPROVAL.] A property owner may require 
 87.2   from a multichannel video programming or telecommunications 
 87.3   service provider before installation or modification of 
 87.4   facilities for providing the service, diagrams showing plans for 
 87.5   the placement and securing of the facilities.  A property owner 
 87.6   may approve or disapprove installation plans.  Approval of plans 
 87.7   must not be unreasonably withheld. 
 87.8      Subd. 3.  [RELOCATION.] A property owner may require a 
 87.9   multichannel video programming or telecommunications service 
 87.10  provider, after reasonable written notice, to promptly relocate 
 87.11  facilities on or within the premises of the property owner for 
 87.12  the purpose of rehabilitation, redecoration, or necessary 
 87.13  maintenance of the premises by the property owner. 
 87.14     Subd. 4.  [COMPENSATION FOR ACCESS.] A multichannel video 
 87.15  programming or telecommunications service provider shall 
 87.16  compensate the property owner for the diminution in fair market 
 87.17  value of the premises resulting directly from the installation 
 87.18  of the facilities.  [238.24] 
 87.19     Sec. 17.  [237A.90] [USE OF EXISTING UTILITY EASEMENT; 
 87.20  RESTRICTIONS.] 
 87.21     Subdivision 1.  [UTILITY EASEMENT DEFINED.] For purposes of 
 87.22  this section, "utility easement" includes all utility easements 
 87.23  or general purpose easements dedicated on a recorded plat to the 
 87.24  public or to the state or to any political subdivision of the 
 87.25  state; all deeded easements to the public or to the state or to 
 87.26  any political subdivision of the state that are for general or 
 87.27  utility purposes; all easements acquired by condemnation or 
 87.28  prescription by the state or any political subdivision of the 
 87.29  state that are for general or utility purposes; and all 
 87.30  easements in favor of any public service corporation for 
 87.31  telecommunications or electric transmission purposes. [238.35, 
 87.32  subd. 2] 
 87.33     Subd. 2.  [AUTHORITY TO USE EXISTING UTILITY EASEMENT.] The 
 87.34  state or any local government unit, individual, or entity, 
 87.35  however organized, that is licensed, franchised, or authorized 
 87.36  to establish and provide cable services may utilize any existing 
 88.1   utility easement in accordance with this section to install, 
 88.2   maintain, and remove equipment and facilities without the 
 88.3   payment of additional compensation to the owners or occupants of 
 88.4   the real estate subject to the easement, other than the owner of 
 88.5   the utility easement or its successors or assigns.  [238.35, 
 88.6   subd. 3] 
 88.7      Subd. 3.  [RESTRICTIONS ON USE.] (a) As a condition of 
 88.8   using any utility easement, a cable services provider is subject 
 88.9   to any burdens, duties, or obligations specified in the easement 
 88.10  of the grantee of the easement. 
 88.11     (b) A cable services provider shall restore the real 
 88.12  estate, and any landscaping on or improvements to it, to the 
 88.13  condition they were in prior to entry within 30 days of 
 88.14  completing the installation of, and making changes to, the 
 88.15  facilities for providing cable services upon that real estate.  
 88.16  Restoration that cannot be completed during the winter months 
 88.17  must be accomplished as promptly as weather conditions permit. 
 88.18  [238.35, subd. 4] 
 88.19     Sec. 18.  [237A.91] [PERMIT TO ATTACH TO POLE OR CONDUIT 
 88.20  SYSTEM.] 
 88.21     Every pole, duct, and conduit agreement must contain a 
 88.22  provision that before attaching to the public utility company's 
 88.23  poles or occupying any part of the public utility's conduit 
 88.24  system, the cable service provider shall apply and receive a 
 88.25  permit for that purpose on a form provided by the public utility 
 88.26  company.  If the cable service provider accepts the permit, it 
 88.27  may attach its equipment to the poles covered by the permit or 
 88.28  occupy the conduit system of the public utility to the extent 
 88.29  authorized by the permit, subject to sections 237A.92 and 
 88.30  237A.93 and the terms of the agreement between the contracting 
 88.31  parties.  In granting or denying a permit, the public utility 
 88.32  has the right to determine whether a grant of a permit would 
 88.33  adversely affect its public services, duties, and obligations or 
 88.34  have an adverse effect on the economy, safety, and future needs 
 88.35  of the public utility.  [238.38] 
 88.36     Sec. 19.  [237A.92] [LIABILITY; INDEMNIFY PUBLIC UTILITY.] 
 89.1      Subdivision 1.  [PROVISION IN AGREEMENT.] Every pole, duct, 
 89.2   and conduit agreement must contain a provision that the cable 
 89.3   service provider shall defend, indemnify, protect, and save 
 89.4   harmless the public utility from and against any and all claims 
 89.5   and demands for damages to property and injury or death to 
 89.6   persons, including payments made under any worker's compensation 
 89.7   law or under any plan for employees' disability and death 
 89.8   benefits, which may arise out of or be caused by (1) the 
 89.9   erection, maintenance, presence, use, or removal of the cable 
 89.10  service provider's cable, equipment, and facilities, (2) the 
 89.11  proximity of the cables, equipment, and facilities of the 
 89.12  parties to the agreement, or (3) any act of the cable service 
 89.13  provider on or in the vicinity of the public utility company's 
 89.14  poles and conduit system, in the performance of the agreement.  
 89.15     Subd. 2.  [ADDITIONAL PROTECTION FROM CLAIMS AND 
 89.16  DEMANDS.] The cable service provider shall also indemnify, 
 89.17  protect, and save harmless the public utility from and against 
 89.18  any and all claims and demands: 
 89.19     (1) that arise directly or indirectly from the operation of 
 89.20  the cable service provider's facilities including taxes and 
 89.21  special charges by others; 
 89.22     (2) for damages or loss for infringement of copyright, for 
 89.23  libel and slander, for unauthorized use of television broadcast 
 89.24  programs, and for unauthorized use of other program material; 
 89.25  and 
 89.26     (3) for infringement of patents with respect to the 
 89.27  manufacture, use, and operation of the cable communications 
 89.28  equipment in combination with the public utility company's 
 89.29  poles, conduit system, or otherwise. 
 89.30     Subd. 3.  [LIABILITY FOR NEGLIGENCE.] Nothing contained in 
 89.31  this section relieves the public utility company from liability 
 89.32  for the negligence of the public utility company or anyone 
 89.33  acting under its direction and control.  [238.40] 
 89.34     Sec. 20.  [237A.93] [INSURANCE FOR PARTIES TO POLE 
 89.35  AGREEMENT.] 
 89.36     The cable service provider shall carry insurance to protect 
 90.1   the parties to a pole attachment agreement from and against any 
 90.2   and all claims, demands, actions, judgments, costs, expenses, 
 90.3   and liabilities that may arise or result, directly or 
 90.4   indirectly, from or by reason of the loss, injury, claim, or 
 90.5   damage.  The amount of the insurance must be agreed to by the 
 90.6   parties to this agreement.  Insurance required must remain in 
 90.7   effect for the entire term of the agreement. [238.41] 
 90.8                              ARTICLE 8 
 90.9                        CONFORMING AMENDMENTS 
 90.10     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 13.46, 
 90.11  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 90.12     Subd. 2.  [GENERAL.] (a) Unless the data is summary data or 
 90.13  a statute specifically provides a different classification, data 
 90.14  on individuals collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by 
 90.15  the welfare system is private data on individuals, and shall not 
 90.16  be disclosed except:  
 90.17     (1) according to section 13.05; 
 90.18     (2) according to court order; 
 90.19     (3) according to a statute specifically authorizing access 
 90.20  to the private data; 
 90.21     (4) to an agent of the welfare system, including a law 
 90.22  enforcement person, attorney, or investigator acting for it in 
 90.23  the investigation or prosecution of a criminal or civil 
 90.24  proceeding relating to the administration of a program; 
 90.25     (5) to personnel of the welfare system who require the data 
 90.26  to determine eligibility, amount of assistance, and the need to 
 90.27  provide services of additional programs to the individual; 
 90.28     (6) to administer federal funds or programs; 
 90.29     (7) between personnel of the welfare system working in the 
 90.30  same program; 
 90.31     (8) the amounts of cash public assistance and relief paid 
 90.32  to welfare recipients in this state, including their names, 
 90.33  social security numbers, income, addresses, and other data as 
 90.34  required, upon request by the department of revenue to 
 90.35  administer the property tax refund law, supplemental housing 
 90.36  allowance, early refund of refundable tax credits, and the 
 91.1   income tax.  "Refundable tax credits" means the dependent care 
 91.2   credit under section 290.067, the Minnesota working family 
 91.3   credit under section 290.0671, the property tax refund under 
 91.4   section 290A.04, and, if the required federal waiver or waivers 
 91.5   are granted, the federal earned income tax credit under section 
 91.6   32 of the Internal Revenue Code; 
 91.7      (9) between the department of human services, the 
 91.8   department of children, families, and learning, and the 
 91.9   department of economic security for the purpose of monitoring 
 91.10  the eligibility of the data subject for unemployment benefits, 
 91.11  for any employment or training program administered, supervised, 
 91.12  or certified by that agency, for the purpose of administering 
 91.13  any rehabilitation program or child care assistance program, 
 91.14  whether alone or in conjunction with the welfare system, or to 
 91.15  monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program by 
 91.16  exchanging data on recipients and former recipients of food 
 91.17  stamps, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, 
 91.18  child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs 
 91.19  under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L; 
 91.20     (10) to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency 
 91.21  if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the 
 91.22  health or safety of the individual or other individuals or 
 91.23  persons; 
 91.24     (11) data maintained by residential programs as defined in 
 91.25  section 245A.02 may be disclosed to the protection and advocacy 
 91.26  system established in this state according to Part C of Public 
 91.27  Law Number 98-527 to protect the legal and human rights of 
 91.28  persons with mental retardation or other related conditions who 
 91.29  live in residential facilities for these persons if the 
 91.30  protection and advocacy system receives a complaint by or on 
 91.31  behalf of that person and the person does not have a legal 
 91.32  guardian or the state or a designee of the state is the legal 
 91.33  guardian of the person; 
 91.34     (12) to the county medical examiner or the county coroner 
 91.35  for identifying or locating relatives or friends of a deceased 
 91.36  person; 
 92.1      (13) data on a child support obligor who makes payments to 
 92.2   the public agency may be disclosed to the higher education 
 92.3   services office to the extent necessary to determine eligibility 
 92.4   under section 136A.121, subdivision 2, clause (5); 
 92.5      (14) participant social security numbers and names 
 92.6   collected by the telephone department of human services for the 
 92.7   purposes of implementing the telecommunications assistance 
 92.8   program under sections 237A.52 and 237A.54 may be disclosed to 
 92.9   the department of revenue to conduct an electronic data match 
 92.10  with the property tax refund database to determine eligibility 
 92.11  under section 237.70, subdivision 4a 237A.52; 
 92.12     (15) the current address of a Minnesota family investment 
 92.13  program participant may be disclosed to law enforcement officers 
 92.14  who provide the name of the participant and notify the agency 
 92.15  that: 
 92.16     (i) the participant: 
 92.17     (A) is a fugitive felon fleeing to avoid prosecution, or 
 92.18  custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt 
 92.19  to commit a crime that is a felony under the laws of the 
 92.20  jurisdiction from which the individual is fleeing; or 
 92.21     (B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed 
 92.22  under state or federal law; 
 92.23     (ii) the location or apprehension of the felon is within 
 92.24  the law enforcement officer's official duties; and 
 92.25     (iii)  the request is made in writing and in the proper 
 92.26  exercise of those duties; 
 92.27     (16) the current address of a recipient of general 
 92.28  assistance or general assistance medical care may be disclosed 
 92.29  to probation officers and corrections agents who are supervising 
 92.30  the recipient and to law enforcement officers who are 
 92.31  investigating the recipient in connection with a felony level 
 92.32  offense; 
 92.33     (17) information obtained from food stamp applicant or 
 92.34  recipient households may be disclosed to local, state, or 
 92.35  federal law enforcement officials, upon their written request, 
 92.36  for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the 
 93.1   Food Stamp Act, according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 
 93.2   7, section 272.1(c); 
 93.3      (18) the address, social security number, and, if 
 93.4   available, photograph of any member of a household receiving 
 93.5   food stamps shall be made available, on request, to a local, 
 93.6   state, or federal law enforcement officer if the officer 
 93.7   furnishes the agency with the name of the member and notifies 
 93.8   the agency that:  
 93.9      (i) the member: 
 93.10     (A) is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or 
 93.11  confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a 
 93.12  crime that is a felony in the jurisdiction the member is 
 93.13  fleeing; 
 93.14     (B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed 
 93.15  under state or federal law; or 
 93.16     (C) has information that is necessary for the officer to 
 93.17  conduct an official duty related to conduct described in subitem 
 93.18  (A) or (B); 
 93.19     (ii) locating or apprehending the member is within the 
 93.20  officer's official duties; and 
 93.21     (iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper 
 93.22  exercise of the officer's official duty; 
 93.23     (19) the current address of a recipient of Minnesota family 
 93.24  investment program, general assistance, general assistance 
 93.25  medical care, or food stamps may be disclosed to law enforcement 
 93.26  officers who, in writing, provide the name of the recipient and 
 93.27  notify the agency that the recipient is a person required to 
 93.28  register under section 243.166, but is not residing at the 
 93.29  address at which the recipient is registered under section 
 93.30  243.166; 
 93.31     (20) certain information regarding child support obligors 
 93.32  who are in arrears may be made public according to section 
 93.33  518.575; 
 93.34     (21) data on child support payments made by a child support 
 93.35  obligor and data on the distribution of those payments excluding 
 93.36  identifying information on obligees may be disclosed to all 
 94.1   obligees to whom the obligor owes support, and data on the 
 94.2   enforcement actions undertaken by the public authority, the 
 94.3   status of those actions, and data on the income of the obligor 
 94.4   or obligee may be disclosed to the other party; 
 94.5      (22) data in the work reporting system may be disclosed 
 94.6   under section 256.998, subdivision 7; 
 94.7      (23) to the department of children, families, and learning 
 94.8   for the purpose of matching department of children, families, 
 94.9   and learning student data with public assistance data to 
 94.10  determine students eligible for free and reduced price meals, 
 94.11  meal supplements, and free milk according to United States Code, 
 94.12  title 42, sections 1758, 1761, 1766, 1766a, 1772, and 1773; to 
 94.13  allocate federal and state funds that are distributed based on 
 94.14  income of the student's family; and to verify receipt of energy 
 94.15  assistance for the telephone assistance plan; 
 94.16     (24) the current address and telephone number of program 
 94.17  recipients and emergency contacts may be released to the 
 94.18  commissioner of health or a local board of health as defined in 
 94.19  section 145A.02, subdivision 2, when the commissioner or local 
 94.20  board of health has reason to believe that a program recipient 
 94.21  is a disease case, carrier, suspect case, or at risk of illness, 
 94.22  and the data are necessary to locate the person; 
 94.23     (25) to other state agencies, statewide systems, and 
 94.24  political subdivisions of this state, including the attorney 
 94.25  general, and agencies of other states, interstate information 
 94.26  networks, federal agencies, and other entities as required by 
 94.27  federal regulation or law for the administration of the child 
 94.28  support enforcement program; 
 94.29     (26) to personnel of public assistance programs as defined 
 94.30  in section 256.741, for access to the child support system 
 94.31  database for the purpose of administration, including monitoring 
 94.32  and evaluation of those public assistance programs; 
 94.33     (27) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family 
 94.34  investment program by exchanging data between the departments of 
 94.35  human services and children, families, and learning, on 
 94.36  recipients and former recipients of food stamps, cash assistance 
 95.1   under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance 
 95.2   under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 
 95.3   256D, or 256L; or 
 95.4      (28) to evaluate child support program performance and to 
 95.5   identify and prevent fraud in the child support program by 
 95.6   exchanging data between the department of human services, 
 95.7   department of revenue under section 270B.14, subdivision 1, 
 95.8   paragraphs (a) and (b), without regard to the limitation of use 
 95.9   in paragraph (c), department of health, department of economic 
 95.10  security, and other state agencies as is reasonably necessary to 
 95.11  perform these functions.  
 95.12     (b) Information on persons who have been treated for drug 
 95.13  or alcohol abuse may only be disclosed according to the 
 95.14  requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, sections 
 95.15  2.1 to 2.67. 
 95.16     (c) Data provided to law enforcement agencies under 
 95.17  paragraph (a), clause (15), (16), (17), or (18), or paragraph 
 95.18  (b), are investigative data and are confidential or protected 
 95.19  nonpublic while the investigation is active.  The data are 
 95.20  private after the investigation becomes inactive under section 
 95.21  13.82, subdivision 5, paragraph (a) or (b). 
 95.22     (d) Mental health data shall be treated as provided in 
 95.23  subdivisions 7, 8, and 9, but is not subject to the access 
 95.24  provisions of subdivision 10, paragraph (b). 
 95.25     (e) For the purposes of this subdivision, a request will be 
 95.26  deemed to be made in writing if made through a computer 
 95.27  interface system. 
 95.28     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16A.124, 
 95.29  subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
 95.30     Subd. 8.  [APPLICABILITY.] Subdivisions 1 to 7 apply to all 
 95.31  agency purchases, leases, rentals, and contracts for services, 
 95.32  including construction and remodeling contracts, except for: 
 95.33     (1) purchases from or contracts for service with a public 
 95.34  utility as defined in section 216B.02 or a telephone company as 
 95.35  defined in section 237.01 that has on file with the public 
 95.36  utilities commission an approved practice regarding late fees; 
 96.1   and 
 96.2      (2) provider billings to and contracts with the 
 96.3   commissioner of human services for health care services, which 
 96.4   are subject only to subdivisions 4a and 4b.  
 96.5      Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16B.465, 
 96.6   subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
 96.7      Subdivision 1.  [POLICY.] (a) The state through its 
 96.8   departments and agencies shall seek ways to meet its 
 96.9   telecommunications needs in a manner that will help to promote 
 96.10  investment and growth of the private sector information 
 96.11  infrastructure throughout the state.  
 96.12     (b) The commissioner shall ensure that telecommunications 
 96.13  services are acquired in a manner that: 
 96.14     (1) promotes the availability of technologies with 
 96.15  statewide high-speed or advanced telecommunications capability 
 96.16  for both public and private customers in a reasonable and timely 
 96.17  fashion; 
 96.18     (2) enables the cost-effective provision of 
 96.19  telecommunications services to the entities identified in this 
 96.20  section; 
 96.21     (3) uses standards-based open, interoperable networks to 
 96.22  the extent practicable; 
 96.23     (4) promotes fair and open competition in the delivery of 
 96.24  telecommunications services; 
 96.25     (5) allows effective state information infrastructure 
 96.26  network management, responsiveness, and fault protection; 
 96.27     (6) provides networkwide security and confidentiality as 
 96.28  appropriate for promoting public safety, health, and welfare; 
 96.29  and 
 96.30     (7) meets performance standards that are reasonable and 
 96.31  necessary.  
 96.32     (c) The state may purchase, own, or lease customer premises 
 96.33  equipment.  Customer premises equipment consists of terminal and 
 96.34  associated equipment and inside wire located at an end user's 
 96.35  premises and connected with communication channels at the point 
 96.36  established in a building or a complex to separate customer 
 97.1   equipment from the network.  Customer premises equipment also 
 97.2   includes, but is not limited to, communications devices eligible 
 97.3   for distribution to communications impaired persons under 
 97.4   section 237.51, subdivision 1 237A.47. 
 97.5      (d) This section does not prohibit the commissioner or 
 97.6   other governmental entity from owning, leasing, operating, and 
 97.7   staffing a network operation center that allows the commissioner 
 97.8   to test, troubleshoot, and maintain network operations.  
 97.9      Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16B.465, 
 97.10  subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
 97.11     Subd. 1a.  [CREATION.] Except as provided in subdivision 4, 
 97.12  the commissioner, through the state information infrastructure, 
 97.13  shall arrange for the provision of voice, data, video, and other 
 97.14  telecommunications transmission services to state agencies.  The 
 97.15  state information infrastructure may also serve educational 
 97.16  institutions, including public schools as defined in section 
 97.17  120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, 13, and 17, nonpublic, church or 
 97.18  religious organization schools that provide instruction in 
 97.19  compliance with sections 120A.22, 120A.24, and 120A.41, and 
 97.20  private colleges; public corporations; and state political 
 97.21  subdivisions.  It is not a telephone company or 
 97.22  telecommunications service provider for purposes of chapter 237 
 97.23  237A.  The commissioner may purchase, own, or lease any 
 97.24  telecommunications network facilities or equipment after first 
 97.25  seeking bids or proposals and having determined that the private 
 97.26  sector cannot, will not, or is unable to provide these services, 
 97.27  facilities, or equipment as bid or proposed in a reasonable or 
 97.28  timely fashion consistent with policy set forth in this 
 97.29  section.  The commissioner shall not resell or sublease any 
 97.30  services or facilities to nonpublic entities except to serve 
 97.31  private schools and colleges.  The commissioner has the 
 97.32  responsibility for planning, development, and operations of the 
 97.33  state information infrastructure in order to provide 
 97.34  cost-effective telecommunications transmission services to state 
 97.35  information infrastructure users consistent with the policy set 
 97.36  forth in this section. 
 98.1      Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 18.205, is 
 98.2   amended to read: 
 98.3      18.205 [PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENTS.] 
 98.4      For property that is subject to a public utility easement, 
 98.5   the person controlling the surface of the land other than the 
 98.6   holder of the public utility easement is the person responsible 
 98.7   for control of grasshoppers under this chapter.  For purposes of 
 98.8   this section, a "public utility easement" means an easement used 
 98.9   for the purpose of transmission, distribution, furnishing at 
 98.10  wholesale or retail natural or manufactured gas, or electric or 
 98.11  telephone telecommunications service, by a public utility as 
 98.12  defined in section 216B.02, subdivision 4, a cooperative 
 98.13  electric association organized under chapter 308A, a telephone 
 98.14  company telecommunications service provider as defined in 
 98.15  section 237.01, subdivisions 2 and 3 237A.01, or a municipality 
 98.16  producing or furnishing gas, electric, or 
 98.17  telephone telecommunications service.  
 98.18     Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 115B.02, 
 98.19  subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
 98.20     Subd. 14.  [PUBLIC UTILITY EASEMENT.] "Public utility 
 98.21  easement" means an easement used for the purposes of 
 98.22  transmission, distribution, or furnishing, at wholesale or 
 98.23  retail, natural or manufactured gas, or electric or telephone 
 98.24  telecommunications service, by a public utility as defined in 
 98.25  section 216B.02, subdivision 4, a cooperative electric 
 98.26  association organized under the provisions of chapter 308A, 
 98.27  a telephone company telecommunications service provider as 
 98.28  defined in section 237.01, subdivisions 2 and 3 237A.01, or a 
 98.29  municipality producing or furnishing gas, electric, or telephone 
 98.30  service.  
 98.31     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 125B.20, 
 98.32  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
 98.33     Subd. 2.  [SCHOOL DISTRICT TELECOMMUNICATIONS GRANT.] (a) 
 98.34  Priority will be given to a school district that has not 
 98.35  received access to interactive video, data connection, or both 
 98.36  under the telecommunications access grant program.  Districts 
 99.1   may apply for a grant under this subdivision to:  (1) establish 
 99.2   connections among school districts, and between school districts 
 99.3   and the state information infrastructure administered by the 
 99.4   department of administration under section 16B.465; or (2) if 
 99.5   such a connection meeting minimum electronic connectivity 
 99.6   standards is already established, enhance telecommunications 
 99.7   capacity for a school district.  A district may submit a grant 
 99.8   application for interactive television with higher capacity 
 99.9   connections in order to maintain multiple simultaneous 
 99.10  connections.  To ensure coordination among school districts, a 
 99.11  school district must submit its grant application to the council 
 99.12  through the telecommunications access grant cluster of which the 
 99.13  district is a member.  
 99.14     (b) The application must, at a minimum, contain information 
 99.15  to document for each applicant school district the following: 
 99.16     (1) that the proposed connection meets the minimum 
 99.17  standards and employs an open network architecture that will 
 99.18  ensure interconnectivity and interoperability with other 
 99.19  education institutions and libraries; 
 99.20     (2) that the proposed connection and system will be 
 99.21  connected to the state information infrastructure through the 
 99.22  department of administration under section 16B.465; 
 99.23     (3) that the proposed connection and system will be 
 99.24  connected to the higher education telecommunication network and 
 99.25  that a governance agreement has been adopted which includes 
 99.26  agreements between the school district system, a higher 
 99.27  education regional council, libraries, and coordinating 
 99.28  entities; 
 99.29     (4) the telecommunication vendor selected to provide 
 99.30  service from the district to a state information infrastructure 
 99.31  hub or to a more cost-effective connection point to the state 
 99.32  information infrastructure; and 
 99.33     (5) other information, as determined by the commissioner in 
 99.34  consultation with the education telecommunications council, to 
 99.35  ensure that connections are coordinated, meet state standards 
 99.36  and are cost-effective, and that service is provided in an 
100.1   efficient and cost-effective manner. 
100.2      (c) A school district may include, in its grant 
100.3   application, telecommunications access for collaboration with 
100.4   nonprofit arts organizations for the purpose of educational 
100.5   programs, or access for a secondary media center that:  (1) is a 
100.6   member of a multitype library system; (2) is open during periods 
100.7   of the year when classroom instruction is occurring; and (3) has 
100.8   licensed school media staff on site. 
100.9      (d) The Minnesota education telecommunications council 
100.10  shall award grants and the funds shall be dispersed by the 
100.11  commissioner.  Grant applications must be submitted to the 
100.12  commissioner by a telecommunications access grant cluster 
100.13  organization.  For the purposes of the grant, a school district 
100.14  may include a charter school under section 124D.10, or the 
100.15  Minnesota state academies.  Based on the award made by the 
100.16  council, all grants under this subdivision shall be paid by the 
100.17  commissioner directly to a school district (unless this 
100.18  application requests that the funds be paid to the coordinating 
100.19  agency).  Nonpublic schools as defined in section 237.065, 
100.20  subdivision 2, located within the district may access the 
100.21  network.  The nonpublic school is responsible for actual costs 
100.22  for connection from the school to the access site. 
100.23     (e) Money awarded under this section may be used only for 
100.24  the purposes explicitly stated in the grant application. 
100.25     Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 216A.03, 
100.26  subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
100.27     Subd. 7.  [FILING APPROVED WITHOUT HEARING.] A filing with 
100.28  the commission may be deemed approved by the commission after 60 
100.29  days of filing, unless the commission, a commissioner, or any 
100.30  other person requests the filing be set aside for action by the 
100.31  commission.  The commission may designate, by standing order, 
100.32  categories or types of filings that are eligible for approval 
100.33  under this subdivision.  Complaint filings, petitions for 
100.34  rulemakings, or petitions to increase rates are not eligible for 
100.35  designation.  The commission must publish a weekly notice of the 
100.36  filings that are approved without other action by the 
101.1   commission, and shall issue a written order approving the filing 
101.2   upon passage of the 60-day term, or upon receipt of comments by 
101.3   the department recommending the filing be approved.  Orders 
101.4   approved under this subdivision are subject to reconsideration, 
101.5   as provided in section 216B.27 or the commission's rules of 
101.6   practice and procedure, and nothing in this subdivision affects 
101.7   the rights of any entity under section 216B.17 or 237.081 
101.8   237A.28. 
101.9      Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 216A.07, 
101.10  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
101.11     Subd. 2.  [ENFORCEMENT.] The commissioner is responsible 
101.12  for the enforcement of chapters 216A, 216B, and 237 237A and the 
101.13  orders of the commission issued pursuant to those chapters. 
101.14     Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 216A.07, 
101.15  subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
101.16     Subd. 5.  [RULEMAKING.] The commissioner shall make 
101.17  substantive and procedural rules to implement the provisions of 
101.18  this chapter and chapters 216B and 237 237A.  Rules adopted 
101.19  under this authority shall be promulgated pursuant to the 
101.20  Administrative Procedure Act and shall have the force and effect 
101.21  of law. 
101.22     Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 216B.16, 
101.23  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
101.24     Subd. 2.  [SUSPENSION OF PROPOSED RATE; HEARING; FINAL 
101.25  DETERMINATION DEFINED.] (a) Whenever there is filed with the 
101.26  commission a schedule modifying or resulting in a change in any 
101.27  rates then in force as provided in subdivision 1, the commission 
101.28  may suspend the operation of the schedule by filing with the 
101.29  schedule of rates and delivering to the affected utility a 
101.30  statement in writing of its reasons for the suspension at any 
101.31  time before the rates become effective.  The suspension shall 
101.32  not be for a longer period than ten months beyond the initial 
101.33  filing date except as provided in this subdivision or 
101.34  subdivision 1a.  
101.35     (b) During the suspension the commission shall determine 
101.36  whether all questions of the reasonableness of the rates 
102.1   requested raised by persons deemed interested or by the 
102.2   administrative division of the department of public service can 
102.3   be resolved to the satisfaction of the commission.  If the 
102.4   commission finds that all significant issues raised have not 
102.5   been resolved to its satisfaction, or upon petition by ten 
102.6   percent of the affected customers or 250 affected customers, 
102.7   whichever is less, it shall refer the matter to the office of 
102.8   administrative hearings with instructions for a public hearing 
102.9   as a contested case pursuant to chapter 14, except as otherwise 
102.10  provided in this section. 
102.11     (c) The commission may order that the issues presented by 
102.12  the proposed rate changes be bifurcated into two separate 
102.13  hearings as follows:  (1) determination of the utility's revenue 
102.14  requirements and (2) determination of the rate design.  Upon 
102.15  issuance of both administrative law judge reports, the issues 
102.16  shall again be joined for consideration and final determination 
102.17  by the commission. 
102.18     (d) All prehearing discovery activities of state agency 
102.19  intervenors shall be consolidated and conducted by the 
102.20  department of public service commerce. 
102.21     (e) If the commission does not make a final determination 
102.22  concerning a schedule of rates within ten months after the 
102.23  initial filing date, the schedule shall be deemed to have been 
102.24  approved by the commission; except if: 
102.25     (1) an extension of the procedural schedule has been 
102.26  granted under subdivision 1a, in which case the schedule of 
102.27  rates is deemed to have been approved by the commission on the 
102.28  last day of the extended period of suspension; or 
102.29     (2) a settlement has been submitted to and rejected by the 
102.30  commission and the commission does not make a final 
102.31  determination concerning the schedule of rates, the schedule of 
102.32  rates is deemed to have been approved 60 days after the 
102.33  initial filing or, if applicable, the extended period of 
102.34  suspension. 
102.35     (f) If the commission finds that it has insufficient time 
102.36  during the suspension period to make a final determination of a 
103.1   case involving changes in general rates because of the need to 
103.2   make a final determination of another previously filed case 
103.3   involving changes in general rates under this section or section 
103.4   237.075 237A.08, the commission may extend the suspension period 
103.5   to the extent necessary to allow itself 20 working days to make 
103.6   the final determination after it has made a final determination 
103.7   in the previously filed case.  An extension of the suspension 
103.8   period under this paragraph does not alter the setting of 
103.9   interim rates under subdivision 3. 
103.10     (g) For the purposes of this section, "final determination" 
103.11  means the initial decision of the commission and not any order 
103.12  which may be entered by the commission in response to a petition 
103.13  for rehearing or other further relief.  The commission may 
103.14  further suspend rates until it determines all those petitions. 
103.15     Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 221.031, 
103.16  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
103.17     Subd. 2.  [PRIVATE CARRIERS; OPERATING REQUIREMENTS, 
103.18  EXEMPTIONS.] (a) This subdivision applies to private carriers 
103.19  engaged in intrastate commerce. 
103.20     (b) Private carriers operating vehicles with a gross 
103.21  vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds shall comply with 
103.22  those federal regulations incorporated by reference in: 
103.23     (1) section 221.0314, subdivisions 2 to 5, for driver 
103.24  qualifications; 
103.25     (2) section 221.0314, subdivision 9, for hours of service 
103.26  of drivers; 
103.27     (3) section 221.0314, subdivision 6, for driving of motor 
103.28  vehicles; 
103.29     (4) section 221.0314, subdivision 7, for parts and 
103.30  accessories necessary for safe operation; and 
103.31     (5) section 221.0314, subdivision 10, for inspection, 
103.32  repair, and maintenance. 
103.33     (c) The rules for hours of service of drivers do not apply 
103.34  to private carriers who are (1) public utilities as defined in 
103.35  section 216B.02, subdivision 4; (2) cooperative electric 
103.36  associations organized under chapter 308A; (3) telephone 
104.1   companies as defined in section 237.01, subdivision 2; or (4) 
104.2   engaged in the transportation of construction materials, tools 
104.3   and equipment from shop to job site or job site to job site, for 
104.4   use by the private carrier in the new construction, remodeling, 
104.5   or repair of buildings, structures or their appurtenances. 
104.6      (d) The rules for driver qualifications and hours of 
104.7   service of drivers do not apply to vehicles controlled by a 
104.8   farmer and operated by a farmer or farm employee to transport 
104.9   agricultural products, farm machinery, or supplies to or from a 
104.10  farm if the vehicle is not used in the operations of a motor 
104.11  carrier and not carrying hazardous materials of a type or 
104.12  quantity that requires the vehicle to be marked or placarded in 
104.13  accordance with section 221.033.  
104.14     (e) The rules for driver qualifications do not apply to a 
104.15  driver employed by a private carrier while operating a 
104.16  lightweight vehicle. 
104.17     Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 256.978, 
104.18  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
104.19     Subd. 2.  [ACCESS TO INFORMATION.] (a) A request for 
104.20  information by the public authority responsible for child 
104.21  support of this state or any other state may be made to: 
104.22     (1) employers when there is reasonable cause to believe 
104.23  that the subject of the inquiry is or was an employee or 
104.24  independent contractor of the employer.  Information to be 
104.25  released by employers of employees is limited to place of 
104.26  residence, employment status, wage or payment information, 
104.27  benefit information, and social security number.  Information to 
104.28  be released by employers of independent contractors is limited 
104.29  to place of residence or address, contract status, payment 
104.30  information, benefit information, and social security number or 
104.31  identification number; 
104.32     (2) utility companies when there is reasonable cause to 
104.33  believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was a retail 
104.34  customer of the utility company.  Customer information to be 
104.35  released by utility companies is limited to place of residence, 
104.36  home telephone, work telephone, source of income, employer and 
105.1   place of employment, and social security number; 
105.2      (3) insurance companies when there is reasonable cause to 
105.3   believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was receiving 
105.4   funds either in the form of a lump sum or periodic payments.  
105.5   Information to be released by insurance companies is limited to 
105.6   place of residence, home telephone, work telephone, employer, 
105.7   social security number, and amounts and type of payments made to 
105.8   the subject of the inquiry; 
105.9      (4) labor organizations when there is reasonable cause to 
105.10  believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was a member of 
105.11  the labor association.  Information to be released by labor 
105.12  associations is limited to place of residence, home telephone, 
105.13  work telephone, social security number, and current and past 
105.14  employment information; and 
105.15     (5) financial institutions when there is reasonable cause 
105.16  to believe that the subject of the inquiry has or has had 
105.17  accounts, stocks, loans, certificates of deposits, treasury 
105.18  bills, life insurance policies, or other forms of financial 
105.19  dealings with the institution.  Information to be released by 
105.20  the financial institution is limited to place of residence, home 
105.21  telephone, work telephone, identifying information on the type 
105.22  of financial relationships, social security number, current 
105.23  value of financial relationships, and current indebtedness of 
105.24  the subject with the financial institution. 
105.25     (b) For purposes of this subdivision, utility companies 
105.26  include telephone companies, radio common carriers, and 
105.27  telecommunications carriers service providers as defined in 
105.28  section 237.01 237A.01, and companies that provide electrical, 
105.29  telephone, natural gas, propane gas, oil, coal, or cable 
105.30  television services to retail customers.  The term financial 
105.31  institution includes banks, savings and loans, credit unions, 
105.32  brokerage firms, mortgage companies, insurance companies, 
105.33  benefit associations, safe deposit companies, money market 
105.34  mutual funds, or similar entities authorized to do business in 
105.35  the state. 
105.36     Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 270B.14, 
106.1   subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
106.2      Subdivision 1.  [DISCLOSURE TO COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN 
106.3   SERVICES.] (a) On the request of the commissioner of human 
106.4   services, the commissioner shall disclose return information 
106.5   regarding taxes imposed by chapter 290, and claims for refunds 
106.6   under chapter 290A, to the extent provided in paragraph (b) and 
106.7   for the purposes set forth in paragraph (c). 
106.8      (b) Data that may be disclosed are limited to data relating 
106.9   to the identity, whereabouts, employment, income, and property 
106.10  of a person owing or alleged to be owing an obligation of child 
106.11  support. 
106.12     (c) The commissioner of human services may request data 
106.13  only for the purposes of carrying out the child support 
106.14  enforcement program and to assist in the location of parents who 
106.15  have, or appear to have, deserted their children.  Data received 
106.16  may be used only as set forth in section 256.978. 
106.17     (d) The commissioner shall provide the records and 
106.18  information necessary to administer the supplemental housing 
106.19  allowance to the commissioner of human services.  
106.20     (e) At the request of the commissioner of human services, 
106.21  the commissioner of revenue shall electronically match the 
106.22  social security numbers and names of participants in the 
106.23  telephone telecommunications assistance plan operated under 
106.24  sections 237.69 to 237.711 237A.52 and 237A.54, with those of 
106.25  property tax refund filers, and determine whether each 
106.26  participant's household income is within the eligibility 
106.27  standards for the telephone assistance plan. 
106.28     (f) The commissioner may provide records and information 
106.29  collected under sections 295.50 to 295.59 to the commissioner of 
106.30  human services for purposes of the Medicaid Voluntary 
106.31  Contribution and Provider-Specific Tax Amendments of 1991, 
106.32  Public Law Number 102-234.  Upon the written agreement by the 
106.33  United States Department of Health and Human Services to 
106.34  maintain the confidentiality of the data, the commissioner may 
106.35  provide records and information collected under sections 295.50 
106.36  to 295.59 to the Health Care Financing Administration section of 
107.1   the United States Department of Health and Human Services for 
107.2   purposes of meeting federal reporting requirements.  
107.3      (g) The commissioner may provide records and information to 
107.4   the commissioner of human services as necessary to administer 
107.5   the early refund of refundable tax credits. 
107.6      (h) The commissioner may disclose information to the 
107.7   commissioner of human services necessary to verify income for 
107.8   eligibility and premium payment under the MinnesotaCare program, 
107.9   under section 256L.05, subdivision 2. 
107.10     (i) The commissioner may disclose information to the 
107.11  commissioner of human services necessary to verify whether 
107.12  applicants or recipients for the Minnesota family investment 
107.13  program, general assistance, food stamps, and Minnesota 
107.14  supplemental aid program have claimed refundable tax credits 
107.15  under chapter 290 and the property tax refund under chapter 
107.16  290A, and the amounts of the credits. 
107.17     Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 272.01, 
107.18  subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
107.19     Subd. 3.  The provisions of subdivision 2 shall not apply 
107.20  to: 
107.21     (a) Federal property for which payments are made in lieu of 
107.22  taxes in amounts equivalent to taxes which might otherwise be 
107.23  lawfully assessed; 
107.24     (b) Real estate exempt from ad valorem taxes and taxes in 
107.25  lieu thereof which is leased, loaned, or otherwise made 
107.26  available to telephone companies telecommunications service 
107.27  providers or electric, light and power companies upon which 
107.28  personal property consisting of transmission and distribution 
107.29  lines is situated and assessed pursuant to sections 273.37, 
107.30  273.38, 273.40 and 273.41, or upon which are situated the 
107.31  communication lines of express, railway, 
107.32  telephone telecommunications or telegraph companies, or 
107.33  pipelines used for the transmission and distribution of 
107.34  petroleum products, or the equipment items of a 
107.35  cable communications company service provider subject to 
107.36  sections 238.35 to 238.42 chapter 237A; 
108.1      (c) Property presently owned by any educational institution 
108.2   chartered by the territorial legislature; 
108.3      (d) Indian lands; 
108.4      (e) Property of any corporation organized as a tribal 
108.5   corporation under the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 
108.6   1934, (Statutes at Large, volume 48, page 984); 
108.7      (f) Real property owned by the state and leased pursuant to 
108.8   section 161.23 or 161.431, and acts amendatory thereto; 
108.9      (g) Real property owned by a seaway port authority on June 
108.10  1, 1967, upon which there has been constructed docks, 
108.11  warehouses, tank farms, administrative and maintenance 
108.12  buildings, railroad and ship terminal facilities and other 
108.13  maritime and transportation facilities or those directly related 
108.14  thereto, together with facilities for the handling of passengers 
108.15  and baggage and for the handling of freight and bulk liquids, 
108.16  and personal property owned by a seaway port authority used or 
108.17  usable in connection therewith, when said property is leased to 
108.18  a private individual, association or corporation, but only when 
108.19  such lease provides that the said facilities are available to 
108.20  the public for the loading and unloading of passengers and their 
108.21  baggage and the handling, storage, care, shipment, and delivery 
108.22  of merchandise, freight and baggage and other maritime and 
108.23  transportation activities and functions directly related 
108.24  thereto, but not including property used for grain elevator 
108.25  facilities; it being the declared policy of this state that such 
108.26  property when so leased is public property used exclusively for 
108.27  a public purpose, notwithstanding the one-year limitation in the 
108.28  provisions of section 273.19; 
108.29     (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (g), when the 
108.30  annual rental received by a seaway port authority in any 
108.31  calendar year for such leased property exceeds an amount 
108.32  reasonably required for administrative expense of the authority 
108.33  per year, plus promotional expense for the authority not to 
108.34  exceed the sum of $100,000 per year, to be expended when and in 
108.35  the manner decided upon by the commissioners, plus an amount 
108.36  sufficient to pay all installments of principal and interest 
109.1   due, or to become due, during such calendar year and the next 
109.2   succeeding year on any revenue bonds issued by the authority, 
109.3   plus 25 percent of the gross annual rental to be retained by the 
109.4   authority for improvement, development, or other contingencies, 
109.5   the authority shall make a payment in lieu of real and personal 
109.6   property taxes of a reasonable portion of the remaining annual 
109.7   rental to the county treasurer of the county in which such 
109.8   seaway port authority is principally located.  Any such payments 
109.9   to the county treasurer shall be disbursed by the treasurer on 
109.10  the same basis as real estate taxes are divided among the 
109.11  various governmental units, but if such port authority shall 
109.12  have received funds from the state of Minnesota and funds from 
109.13  any city and county pursuant to Laws 1957, chapters 648, 831, 
109.14  and 849 and acts amendatory thereof, then such disbursement by 
109.15  the county treasurer shall be on the same basis as real estate 
109.16  taxes are divided among the various governmental units, except 
109.17  that the portion of such payments which would otherwise go to 
109.18  other taxing units shall be divided equally among the state of 
109.19  Minnesota and said county and city. 
109.20     Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 297A.61, 
109.21  subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
109.22     Subd. 7.  [SALES PRICE.] (a) "Sales price" means the total 
109.23  consideration for a retail sale, valued in money, whether paid 
109.24  in money or by barter or exchange.  
109.25     (b) Sales price includes: 
109.26     (1) the cost of the property sold, cost of materials used, 
109.27  labor or service cost, interest, or discount allowed after the 
109.28  sale is consummated; 
109.29     (2) the cost of transportation incurred prior to the time 
109.30  of sale; 
109.31     (3) any amount for which credit is given by the seller to 
109.32  the purchaser; 
109.33     (4) charges for services that are part of a sale; or 
109.34     (5) all charges imposed under section 237A.42 on purchases 
109.35  of telecommunications services used to fund the Minnesota 
109.36  universal service fund; or 
110.1      (6) any other expense whatsoever. 
110.2      (c) Sales price does not include the following: 
110.3      (1) an amount allowed as credit for tangible personal 
110.4   property taken in trade for resale; 
110.5      (2) charges of up to 15 percent in lieu of tips if the 
110.6   charges are separately stated; 
110.7      (3) interest, financing, or carrying charges if the charges 
110.8   are separately stated; 
110.9      (4) charges for labor or services used in installing or 
110.10  applying the property sold if the charges are separately stated; 
110.11     (5) transportation charges if the transportation occurs 
110.12  after the retail sale of the property if the charges are 
110.13  separately stated; 
110.14     (6) cash discounts allowed and taken on sales or the amount 
110.15  refunded either in cash or in credit for property returned by 
110.16  purchasers; 
110.17     (7) the rental motor vehicle tax imposed under section 
110.18  297A.64; or 
110.19     (8) amounts paid to eligible telecommunications carriers 
110.20  out of the Minnesota universal service fund and credited to 
110.21  end-users of telecommunications services; or 
110.22     (9) the amount of any tax imposed by the United States on 
110.23  communications services under United States Code, title 26, 
110.24  section 4251, subsection (a). 
110.25     (d) Notwithstanding paragraph (c), "sales price," for 
110.26  purposes of sales of ready-mixed concrete sold from a 
110.27  ready-mixed concrete truck, includes any transportation, 
110.28  delivery, or other service charges, and no deduction is allowed 
110.29  for those charges, whether or not the charges are separately 
110.30  stated. 
110.31     Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 308A.210, 
110.32  subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
110.33     Subd. 3.  [POWERS.] A purchasing cooperative has all of the 
110.34  powers described in section 308A.201, except that a purchasing 
110.35  cooperative does not have the power of eminent domain.  A 
110.36  purchasing cooperative is not a telephone or electric 
111.1   cooperative or telecommunications service provider as those 
111.2   terms are used in this chapter and chapters 216B and 237 237A. 
111.3      Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 308A.210, 
111.4   subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
111.5      Subd. 8.  [ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE; DEFINED.] 
111.6   "Advanced telecommunications service" includes any service that 
111.7   would be classified as a flexibly priced service within the 
111.8   meaning of section 237.761, subdivision 4, or 
111.9   non-price-regulated service within the meaning of section 
111.10  237.761, subdivision 4, provided that a service may be an 
111.11  advanced telephone service whether or not the telephone company 
111.12  has adopted an alternative rate plan within the meaning of 
111.13  section 237.76 has the meaning given in section 237A.01, 
111.14  subdivision 5. 
111.15     Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 325E.021, is 
111.16  amended to read: 
111.17     325E.021 [UTILITY DELINQUENCY CHARGES.] 
111.18     A public utility as defined by section 216B.02, a 
111.19  municipality or cooperative electric association, or telephone 
111.20  company telecommunications service provider as defined by 
111.21  section 237.01 237A.01, shall, if that utility adopts a policy 
111.22  of imposing a charge or fee upon delinquent residential and farm 
111.23  accounts, provide that each billing shall clearly state the 
111.24  terms and conditions of any penalty in the form of the monthly 
111.25  percentage rate.  
111.26     Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 325F.692, is 
111.27  amended to read: 
111.28     325F.692 [FRAUDULENT TELEPHONE SERVICES; BILLING.] 
111.29     Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For the purposes of this 
111.30  section, the following terms have the meanings given them. 
111.31     (b) "Information service" means a billed service 
111.32  transmitted exclusively orally via the telecommunications 
111.33  network that may include provision of information or advice, 
111.34  participation in trivia or other games, participation in adult 
111.35  conversation or other group bridging services, or provision of 
111.36  similar billed services.  An information service may be accessed 
112.1   by an information service customer by various methods including, 
112.2   but not limited to, dialing a 1-900 or 1-800 telephone number, 
112.3   or by the customer receiving a collect call from an information 
112.4   service provider following the customer's 1-800 call. 
112.5      (c) "Information service customer" means a person who 
112.6   receives information transmitted from or participates in 
112.7   conversation enabled by an information service provider. 
112.8      (d) "Information service provider" means a person who 
112.9   provides information services and directly, or indirectly 
112.10  through a billing agent, either charges information service 
112.11  customers for use of the information service or includes the 
112.12  costs associated with providing information services in the 
112.13  charge for a long-distance call. 
112.14     (e) "Telephone Telecommunications service subscriber" means 
112.15  a person who contracts with a telephone company 
112.16  telecommunications service provider, as defined in section 
112.17  237A.01, for telephone services. 
112.18     Subd. 2.  [UNAUTHORIZED INFORMATION SERVICE CHARGES; 
112.19  LIABILITY.] A telephone telecommunications service subscriber is 
112.20  not responsible for information service charges for calls made 
112.21  by minors or vulnerable adults as defined in section 626.5572, 
112.22  subdivision 21, unless expressly authorized by the subscriber or 
112.23  spouse. 
112.24     Subd. 3.  [BILLING; SEGREGATED CHARGES; NOTICE.] (a) A 
112.25  telephone company or independent telephone company, as defined 
112.26  in section 237.01, or Any other entity that serves as the 
112.27  billing agent for information service charges shall, to the 
112.28  extent it has knowledge, list the charges for information 
112.29  services separately from charges for local and long distance 
112.30  telephone service charges on each telephone telecommunications 
112.31  service subscriber's billing statement, regardless of whether an 
112.32  information service customer initiated a call to access the 
112.33  information service or whether the information service provider 
112.34  initiated a call to the customer to allow the customer access to 
112.35  the information service.  It is fraud under section 325F.69 to 
112.36  knowingly identify information service charges as telephone 
113.1   charges.  A common carrier is liable for fraud under this 
113.2   subdivision only if it knowingly participates in the 
113.3   misidentification. 
113.4      (b) A bill or the portion of a telephone bill for 
113.5   information services must contain the following language printed 
113.6   in at least ten-point bold type or typewritten in capital 
113.7   letters in a color or shade that readily contrasts with the 
113.8   background: 
113.9      "YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DISPUTE CHARGES FOR INFORMATION 
113.10  SERVICE CALLS.  AS A TELEPHONE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE 
113.11  SUBSCRIBER, YOU ARE NOT LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR INFORMATION 
113.12  SERVICE CHARGES INCURRED BY MINORS OR VULNERABLE ADULTS WITHOUT 
113.13  YOUR CONSENT.  NEITHER A LONG DISTANCE COMPANY NOR YOUR 
113.14  LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANY TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDER MAY 
113.15  DISCONNECT YOUR TELEPHONE SERVICE BECAUSE YOU REFUSE TO PAY AN 
113.16  INFORMATION SERVICE CHARGE." 
113.17  The notice required by this paragraph can be provided in 
113.18  conjunction with other required notices. 
113.19     Subd. 4.  [FRAUDULENT MISREPRESENTATION.] It is fraudulent 
113.20  misrepresentation under section 325F.69 for an information 
113.21  service provider or a provider's agent, including an agent or 
113.22  employee of an entity that provides billing services for an 
113.23  information service provider, to knowingly advise an information 
113.24  service customer or a telephone telecommunications service 
113.25  subscriber, either orally or in writing, that: 
113.26     (1) information service charges not incurred or authorized 
113.27  by a telephone telecommunications service subscriber are the 
113.28  responsibility of the subscriber; 
113.29     (2) parents or guardians of minors or other vulnerable 
113.30  people are responsible for information service charges incurred 
113.31  by the minors or other vulnerable persons; or 
113.32     (3) the availability of telephone service for the 
113.33  subscriber may be affected by failure to pay information service 
113.34  charges not incurred or authorized by the subscriber. 
113.35     Subd. 5.  [ALLOCATION OF PAYMENT OF TELEPHONE BILLS.] The 
113.36  telephone service subscriber shall have (a) A subscriber of 
114.1   essential services, as defined in section 237A.01, subdivision 
114.2   10, has the right to direct partial payments of a telephone bill 
114.3   for bundled telecommunications services, or other services 
114.4   separately itemized on a bill that are not bundled.  Unless 
114.5   otherwise directed by the telephone service subscriber, a 
114.6   telephone company or other telecommunications service provider 
114.7   or its billing entity agent that receives partial payment of a 
114.8   telephone bill containing charges for essential services shall 
114.9   allocate the partial payment first to charges for telephone the 
114.10  essential services, and last then to charges for information 
114.11  services bundled on the bill, or separately itemized.  In 
114.12  determining how much a bill for bundled services is to be 
114.13  allocated to essential services, the service provider shall 
114.14  allocate revenue to the amounts charged for the essential 
114.15  services on an unbundled basis. 
114.16     (b) A telecommunications service provider shall not 
114.17  disconnect a subscriber of essential services for nonpayment of 
114.18  nonessential telecommunications service fees.  
114.19     Subd. 6.  [INDEMNITY.] A telephone company or independent 
114.20  telephone company telecommunications service provider has a 
114.21  right of indemnity against anyone who has provided it with false 
114.22  information as to the status of information charges. 
114.23     Subd. 7.  [INVOLUNTARY BLOCKING.] Anyone who has refused to 
114.24  pay for two months of information charge bills or one month of 
114.25  charges in excess of $500 may be blocked from access to 
114.26  information services. 
114.27     Subd. 9.  [CALLER RESPONSIBILITY.] This section does not 
114.28  affect the legal responsibility of the person who places an 
114.29  information service call for the charges for the call. 
114.30     Subd. 10.  [CALLER CODES REGULATED.] Information service 
114.31  providers or their agents and telephone companies 
114.32  telecommunications service providers shall not issue calling 
114.33  card identification codes or personal identification numbers 
114.34  (PIN codes) to consumers over the telephone.  This subdivision 
114.35  does not apply to the issuance of identification codes or 
114.36  personal identification numbers to consumers by a financial 
115.1   institution as defined in United States Code, title 18, section 
115.2   20, or an affiliate or subsidiary of a financial institution. 
115.3      Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 325F.693, is 
115.4   amended to read: 
115.5      325F.693 [FRAUDULENT TELEPHONE SERVICES; SLAMMING.] 
115.6      Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For the purposes of this 
115.7   section, a "telephone service subscriber" means a person who 
115.8   contracts with a telephone company telecommunications service 
115.9   provider, as defined in section 237A.01, for telephone services 
115.10  or a telecommunications company for telecommunications services. 
115.11     (b) The definitions contained in chapter 237 237A apply to 
115.12  this section. 
115.13     Subd. 2.  [SLAMMING DEEMED CONSUMER FRAUD.] (a) It is fraud 
115.14  under section 325F.69 to request a change in a telephone service 
115.15  subscriber's local exchange or interexchange carrier without the 
115.16  subscriber's verified consent.  
115.17     (b) A telephone service subscriber may employ the remedies 
115.18  provided in section 237.66 237A.20 for violations of paragraph 
115.19  (a).  Section 8.31 may also be employed to remedy violations of 
115.20  paragraph (a). 
115.21     (c) For the purposes of paragraph (a): 
115.22     (1) the consent of the telephone service subscriber may be 
115.23  verified utilizing any method that is consistent with federal 
115.24  law or regulation; 
115.25     (2) compliance with applicable federal law and regulation, 
115.26  or state law and rule, whichever is more stringent, is a 
115.27  complete defense to an allegation of consumer fraud under 
115.28  paragraph (a); and 
115.29     (3) it is the responsibility of the company, service 
115.30  provider, or carrier requesting a change in a telephone service 
115.31  subscriber's company or carrier telecommunications service 
115.32  provider to verify that the subscriber has authorized the 
115.33  change.  A telephone company or telecommunications carrier 
115.34  providing local exchange service provider, as defined in section 
115.35  237A.01, subdivision 19, who has been requested by 
115.36  another telephone company or telecommunications carrier service 
116.1   provider to process a change in a subscriber's carrier 
116.2   telecommunications service provider is only liable under this 
116.3   section if it knowingly participates in processing a requested 
116.4   change that is unauthorized. 
116.5      Nothing in this section shall be construed to change a 
116.6   telephone company's or telecommunications carrier's service 
116.7   provider's obligations under section 237.66. 
116.8      Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 326.242, 
116.9   subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
116.10     Subd. 12.  [EXEMPTIONS FROM LICENSING.] (a) A maintenance 
116.11  electrician who is supervised by the responsible master 
116.12  electrician for an electrical contractor who has contracted with 
116.13  the maintenance electrician's employer to provide services for 
116.14  which an electrical contractor's license is required or by a 
116.15  master electrician or an electrical engineer registered with the 
116.16  board and who is an employee of an employer and is engaged in 
116.17  the maintenance, and repair of electrical equipment, apparatus, 
116.18  and facilities owned or leased by the employer, and performed 
116.19  within the limits of property which is owned or leased and 
116.20  operated and maintained by said employer, shall not be required 
116.21  to hold or obtain a license under sections 326.241 to 326.248; 
116.22  or 
116.23     (b) Employees of a licensed alarm and communication 
116.24  contractor are not required to hold a license under sections 
116.25  326.241 to 326.248 while performing work authorized to be 
116.26  conducted by an alarm and communication contractor; or 
116.27     (c) Employees of any electric, communications, or railway 
116.28  utility, or a telephone company telecommunications service 
116.29  provider as defined under section 237.01 237A.01 or its 
116.30  employees, or of any independent contractor performing work on 
116.31  behalf of any such utility or telephone 
116.32  company telecommunications service provider, shall not be 
116.33  required to hold a license under sections 326.241 to 326.248: 
116.34     1.  While performing work on installations, materials, or 
116.35  equipment which are owned or leased, and operated and maintained 
116.36  by such utility or telephone company telecommunications service 
117.1   provider in the exercise of its utility or 
117.2   telephone telecommunications function, and which 
117.3      (i) are used exclusively for the generation, 
117.4   transformation, distribution, transmission, or metering of 
117.5   electric current, or the operation of railway signals, or the 
117.6   transmission of intelligence and do not have as a principal 
117.7   function the consumption or use of electric current by or for 
117.8   the benefit of any person other than such utility or telephone 
117.9   company telecommunications service provider, and 
117.10     (ii) are generally accessible only to employees of such 
117.11  utility or telephone company telecommunications service provider 
117.12  or persons acting under its control or direction, and 
117.13     (iii) are not on the load side of the meter; or 
117.14     2.  While performing work on installations, materials, or 
117.15  equipment which are a part of the street lighting operations of 
117.16  such utility; or 
117.17     3.  While installing or performing work on outdoor area 
117.18  lights which are directly connected to a utility's distribution 
117.19  system and located upon the utility's distribution poles, and 
117.20  which are generally accessible only to employees of such utility 
117.21  or persons acting under its control or direction; or 
117.22     (d) An owner shall not be required to hold or obtain a 
117.23  license under sections 326.241 to 326.248. 
117.24     Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 326.2421, 
117.25  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
117.26     Subd. 2.  [EXEMPTION.] Except as provided in subdivision 3, 
117.27  no person licensed pursuant to subdivision 3 may be required to 
117.28  obtain any authorization, permit, franchise, or license from, or 
117.29  pay any fee, franchise tax, or other assessment to, any agency, 
117.30  department, board, or political subdivision of the state as a 
117.31  condition for performing any work described herein.  The 
117.32  requirements of this section shall not apply neither to 
117.33  telephone companies telecommunications service providers, as 
117.34  defined under section 237.01 237A.01, nor to their employees, 
117.35  that who are only engaged in the laying out, installation, and 
117.36  repair of telephone systems. 
118.1      Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 403.09, is 
118.2   amended to read: 
118.3      403.09 [ENFORCEMENT.] 
118.4      At the request of the department of administration, the 
118.5   attorney general may commence proceedings in the district court 
118.6   against any person or public or private body to enforce the 
118.7   provisions of this chapter. 
118.8      At the request of the public utilities commission, the 
118.9   attorney general may commence proceedings before the district 
118.10  court pursuant to section 237.27 237A.32, against any public 
118.11  utility providing telephone telecommunications service 
118.12  which provider that refuses to comply with this chapter. 
118.13     Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 403.11, 
118.14  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
118.15     Subdivision 1.  [EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SERVICE FEE.] (a) Each 
118.16  customer of a telephone company or communications carrier local 
118.17  service provider, as defined under section 237A.01, that 
118.18  provides service capable of originating a 911 emergency 
118.19  telephone call is assessed a fee to cover the costs of ongoing 
118.20  maintenance and related improvements for trunking and central 
118.21  office switching equipment for minimum 911 emergency telephone 
118.22  service, plus administrative and staffing costs of the 
118.23  department of administration related to managing the 911 
118.24  emergency telephone service program.  Recurring charges by a 
118.25  public utility providing telephone local service provider, as 
118.26  defined under section 237A.01, for updating the information 
118.27  required by section 403.07, subdivision 3, must be paid by the 
118.28  commissioner of administration if the utility local service 
118.29  provider is included in an approved 911 plan and the charges 
118.30  have been certified and approved under subdivision 3.  The 
118.31  commissioner of administration shall transfer an amount equal to 
118.32  two cents a month from the fee assessed under this section on 
118.33  cellular and other nonwire access services to the commissioner 
118.34  of public safety for the purpose of offsetting the costs, 
118.35  including administrative and staffing costs, incurred by the 
118.36  state patrol division of the department of public safety in 
119.1   handling 911 emergency calls made from cellular phones.  Money 
119.2   remaining in the 911 emergency telephone service account after 
119.3   all other obligations are paid must not cancel and is carried 
119.4   forward to subsequent years and may be appropriated from time to 
119.5   time to the commissioner of administration to provide financial 
119.6   assistance to counties for the improvement of local 
119.7   emergency telephone telecommunications services.  The 
119.8   improvements may include providing access to minimum 911 service 
119.9   for telephone local service subscribers currently without access 
119.10  and upgrading existing 911 service to include automatic number 
119.11  identification, local location identification, automatic 
119.12  location identification, and other improvements specified in 
119.13  revised county 911 plans approved by the department. 
119.14     (b) The fee may not be less than eight cents nor more than 
119.15  30 cents a month for each customer access line or other basic 
119.16  access service, including trunk equivalents as designated by the 
119.17  public utilities commission for access charge purposes and 
119.18  including cellular and other nonwire access services.  The fee 
119.19  must be the same for all customers.  
119.20     (c) The fee must be collected by each company or carrier 
119.21  providing service subject to the fee.  Fees are payable to and 
119.22  must be submitted to the commissioner of administration monthly 
119.23  before the 25th of each month following the month of collection, 
119.24  except that fees may be submitted quarterly if less than $250 a 
119.25  month is due, or annually if less than $25 a month is due.  
119.26  Receipts must be deposited in the state treasury and credited to 
119.27  a 911 emergency telephone service account in the special revenue 
119.28  fund.  The money in the account may only be used for 911 
119.29  telephone services as provided in paragraph (a).  
119.30     (d) The commissioner of administration, with the approval 
119.31  of the commissioner of finance, shall establish the amount of 
119.32  the fee within the limits specified and inform the companies and 
119.33  carriers of the amount to be collected.  Companies and carriers 
119.34  must be given a minimum of 45 days' notice of fee changes. 
119.35     (e) This subdivision does not apply to customers of a 
119.36  telecommunications carrier an intrastate long distance service 
120.1   provider as defined in section 237.01, subdivision 6 237A.01. 
120.2      Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 412.014, is 
120.3   amended to read: 
120.4      412.014 [POWER TO OPERATE TELEPHONE LINES.] 
120.5      Any statutory city heretofore or hereafter incorporated, in 
120.6   the territory of which previous to such incorporation telephone 
120.7   lines have been constructed and operated by a town as authorized 
120.8   by sections 237.33 to 237.40 before the effective date of this 
120.9   act, is hereby authorized to continue to operate such telephone 
120.10  lines and the city shall have all the powers granted to towns 
120.11  and the council shall have all of the powers granted to boards 
120.12  of supervisors under former sections 237.33 to 237.40.  
120.13     Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 471.425, 
120.14  subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
120.15     Subd. 5.  [APPLICABILITY.] This section applies to all 
120.16  goods, leases and rents, and contracts for services, 
120.17  construction, repair and remodeling.  Purchases from or 
120.18  contracts for service with a public utility as defined in 
120.19  section 216B.02 or a telephone company telecommunications 
120.20  service provider as defined in section 237.01 237A.01 that has 
120.21  on file with the public utilities commission an approved 
120.22  practice regarding late fees are not subject to this section. 
120.23     Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 473.129, 
120.24  subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
120.25     Subd. 6.  [ON METRO AGENCIES.] (a) The metropolitan council 
120.26  shall appoint from its membership a member to serve with each 
120.27  metropolitan agency.  Each member of the metropolitan council so 
120.28  appointed on each of such agencies shall serve without a vote. 
120.29     (b) The metropolitan council shall also appoint individuals 
120.30  to the governing body of the cable communications metropolitan 
120.31  interconnected regional channel entity under section 238.43, 
120.32  subdivision 5 237A.79. 
120.33     Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.52, 
120.34  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
120.35     Subd. 2.  [ACTS CONSTITUTING THEFT.] Whoever does any of 
120.36  the following commits theft and may be sentenced as provided in 
121.1   subdivision 3: 
121.2      (1) intentionally and without claim of right takes, uses, 
121.3   transfers, conceals or retains possession of movable property of 
121.4   another without the other's consent and with intent to deprive 
121.5   the owner permanently of possession of the property; or 
121.6      (2) having a legal interest in movable property, 
121.7   intentionally and without consent, takes the property out of the 
121.8   possession of a pledgee or other person having a superior right 
121.9   of possession, with intent thereby to deprive the pledgee or 
121.10  other person permanently of the possession of the property; or 
121.11     (3) obtains for the actor or another the possession, 
121.12  custody, or title to property of or performance of services by a 
121.13  third person by intentionally deceiving the third person with a 
121.14  false representation which is known to be false, made with 
121.15  intent to defraud, and which does defraud the person to whom it 
121.16  is made.  "False representation" includes without limitation: 
121.17     (i) the issuance of a check, draft, or order for the 
121.18  payment of money, except a forged check as defined in section 
121.19  609.631, or the delivery of property knowing that the actor is 
121.20  not entitled to draw upon the drawee therefor or to order the 
121.21  payment or delivery thereof; or 
121.22     (ii) a promise made with intent not to perform.  Failure to 
121.23  perform is not evidence of intent not to perform unless 
121.24  corroborated by other substantial evidence; or 
121.25     (iii) the preparation or filing of a claim for 
121.26  reimbursement, a rate application, or a cost report used to 
121.27  establish a rate or claim for payment for medical care provided 
121.28  to a recipient of medical assistance under chapter 256B, which 
121.29  intentionally and falsely states the costs of or actual services 
121.30  provided by a vendor of medical care; or 
121.31     (iv) the preparation or filing of a claim for reimbursement 
121.32  for providing treatment or supplies required to be furnished to 
121.33  an employee under section 176.135 which intentionally and 
121.34  falsely states the costs of or actual treatment or supplies 
121.35  provided; or 
121.36     (v) the preparation or filing of a claim for reimbursement 
122.1   for providing treatment or supplies required to be furnished to 
122.2   an employee under section 176.135 for treatment or supplies that 
122.3   the provider knew were medically unnecessary, inappropriate, or 
122.4   excessive; or 
122.5      (4) by swindling, whether by artifice, trick, device, or 
122.6   any other means, obtains property or services from another 
122.7   person; or 
122.8      (5) intentionally commits any of the acts listed in this 
122.9   subdivision but with intent to exercise temporary control only 
122.10  and: 
122.11     (i) the control exercised manifests an indifference to the 
122.12  rights of the owner or the restoration of the property to the 
122.13  owner; or 
122.14     (ii) the actor pledges or otherwise attempts to subject the 
122.15  property to an adverse claim; or 
122.16     (iii) the actor intends to restore the property only on 
122.17  condition that the owner pay a reward or buy back or make other 
122.18  compensation; or 
122.19     (6) finds lost property and, knowing or having reasonable 
122.20  means of ascertaining the true owner, appropriates it to the 
122.21  finder's own use or to that of another not entitled thereto 
122.22  without first having made reasonable effort to find the owner 
122.23  and offer and surrender the property to the owner; or 
122.24     (7) intentionally obtains property or services, offered 
122.25  upon the deposit of a sum of money or tokens in a coin or token 
122.26  operated machine or other receptacle, without making the 
122.27  required deposit or otherwise obtaining the consent of the 
122.28  owner; or 
122.29     (8) intentionally and without claim of right converts any 
122.30  article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, to 
122.31  the actor's own use or that of another person or makes a copy of 
122.32  an article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, 
122.33  and intentionally and without claim of right converts the same 
122.34  to the actor's own use or that of another person.  It shall be a 
122.35  complete defense to any prosecution under this clause for the 
122.36  defendant to show that information comprising the trade secret 
123.1   was rightfully known or available to the defendant from a source 
123.2   other than the owner of the trade secret; or 
123.3      (9) leases or rents personal property under a written 
123.4   instrument and who: 
123.5      (i) with intent to place the property beyond the control of 
123.6   the lessor conceals or aids or abets the concealment of the 
123.7   property or any part thereof; or 
123.8      (ii) sells, conveys, or encumbers the property or any part 
123.9   thereof without the written consent of the lessor, without 
123.10  informing the person to whom the lessee sells, conveys, or 
123.11  encumbers that the same is subject to such lease or rental 
123.12  contract with intent to deprive the lessor of possession 
123.13  thereof; or 
123.14     (iii) does not return the property to the lessor at the end 
123.15  of the lease or rental term, plus agreed upon extensions, with 
123.16  intent to wrongfully deprive the lessor of possession of the 
123.17  property; or 
123.18     (iv) returns the property to the lessor at the end of the 
123.19  lease or rental term, plus agreed upon extensions, but does not 
123.20  pay the lease or rental charges agreed upon in the written 
123.21  instrument, with intent to wrongfully deprive the lessor of the 
123.22  agreed upon charges.  
123.23  For the purposes of items (iii) and (iv), the value of the 
123.24  property must be at least $100. 
123.25  Evidence that a lessee used a false, fictitious, or not current 
123.26  name, address, or place of employment in obtaining the property 
123.27  or fails or refuses to return the property or pay the rental 
123.28  contract charges to lessor within five days after written demand 
123.29  for the return has been served personally in the manner provided 
123.30  for service of process of a civil action or sent by certified 
123.31  mail to the last known address of the lessee, whichever shall 
123.32  occur later, shall be evidence of intent to violate this 
123.33  clause.  Service by certified mail shall be deemed to be 
123.34  complete upon deposit in the United States mail of such demand, 
123.35  postpaid and addressed to the person at the address for the 
123.36  person set forth in the lease or rental agreement, or, in the 
124.1   absence of the address, to the person's last known place of 
124.2   residence; or 
124.3      (10) alters, removes, or obliterates numbers or symbols 
124.4   placed on movable property for purpose of identification by the 
124.5   owner or person who has legal custody or right to possession 
124.6   thereof with the intent to prevent identification, if the person 
124.7   who alters, removes, or obliterates the numbers or symbols is 
124.8   not the owner and does not have the permission of the owner to 
124.9   make the alteration, removal, or obliteration; or 
124.10     (11) with the intent to prevent the identification of 
124.11  property involved, so as to deprive the rightful owner of 
124.12  possession thereof, alters or removes any permanent serial 
124.13  number, permanent distinguishing number or manufacturer's 
124.14  identification number on personal property or possesses, sells 
124.15  or buys any personal property knowing or having reason to know 
124.16  that the permanent serial number, permanent distinguishing 
124.17  number or manufacturer's identification number has been removed 
124.18  or altered; or 
124.19     (12) intentionally deprives another of a lawful charge for 
124.20  cable television service by: 
124.21     (i) making or using or attempting to make or use an 
124.22  unauthorized external connection outside the individual dwelling 
124.23  unit whether physical, electrical, acoustical, inductive, or 
124.24  other connection; or by 
124.25     (ii) attaching any unauthorized device to any cable, wire, 
124.26  microwave, or other component of a licensed cable communications 
124.27  system as defined in of a cable service provider regulated under 
124.28  chapter 238 237A.  Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit 
124.29  the electronic video rerecording of program material transmitted 
124.30  on the cable communications system by a subscriber for fair use 
124.31  as defined by Public Law Number 94-553, section 107; or 
124.32     (13) except as provided in paragraphs (12) and (14), 
124.33  obtains the services of another with the intention of receiving 
124.34  those services without making the agreed or reasonably expected 
124.35  payment of money or other consideration; or 
124.36     (14) intentionally deprives another of a lawful charge for 
125.1   telecommunications service by:  
125.2      (i) making, using, or attempting to make or use an 
125.3   unauthorized connection whether physical, electrical, by wire, 
125.4   microwave, radio, or other means to a component of a local 
125.5   telecommunication system of a telecommunications service 
125.6   provider, as provided in chapter 237 237A; or 
125.7      (ii) attaching an unauthorized device to a cable, wire, 
125.8   microwave, radio, or other component of a local 
125.9   telecommunication system of a telecommunications system 
125.10  provider, as provided in chapter 237 237A.  
125.11     The existence of an unauthorized connection is prima facie 
125.12  evidence that the occupier of the premises:  
125.13     (i) made or was aware of the connection; and 
125.14     (ii) was aware that the connection was unauthorized; or 
125.15     (15) with intent to defraud, diverts corporate property 
125.16  other than in accordance with general business purposes or for 
125.17  purposes other than those specified in the corporation's 
125.18  articles of incorporation; or 
125.19     (16) with intent to defraud, authorizes or causes a 
125.20  corporation to make a distribution in violation of section 
125.21  302A.551, or any other state law in conformity with it; or 
125.22     (17) takes or drives a motor vehicle without the consent of 
125.23  the owner or an authorized agent of the owner, knowing or having 
125.24  reason to know that the owner or an authorized agent of the 
125.25  owner did not give consent. 
125.26     Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.80, 
125.27  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
125.28     Subdivision 1.  [MISDEMEANOR.] Whoever does any of the 
125.29  following is guilty of a misdemeanor: 
125.30     (1) intentionally and with the purpose of making or aiding 
125.31  in an unauthorized connection as prohibited by section 609.52, 
125.32  subdivision 2, clause (12), to a licensed cable communications 
125.33  system as defined in of a cable service provider regulated under 
125.34  chapter 238 237A lends, offers, or gives to another any 
125.35  instrument, apparatus, equipment, or device designed to make an 
125.36  unauthorized connection, or plan, specification or instruction 
126.1   for making an unauthorized connection, without receiving or 
126.2   seeking to receive money or any other thing of value in 
126.3   exchange; or 
126.4      (2) intentionally tampers with, removes or injures any 
126.5   cable, wire, or other component of a licensed cable 
126.6   communications system as defined in of a cable service provider 
126.7   regulated under chapter 238 237A; or 
126.8      (3) intentionally and without claim of right interrupts a 
126.9   service of a licensed cable communications system service 
126.10  provider as defined in chapter 238 237A. 
126.11     Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.80, 
126.12  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
126.13     Subd. 2.  [COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY; FELONY.] Whoever sells or 
126.14  rents, or offers or advertises for sale or rental, any 
126.15  instrument, apparatus, equipment, or device designed to make an 
126.16  unauthorized connection as prohibited by section 609.52, 
126.17  subdivision 2, clause (12), to a licensed cable communications 
126.18  system as defined in of a cable service provider regulated under 
126.19  chapter 238 237A, or a plan, specification, or instructions for 
126.20  making an unauthorized connection, is guilty of a felony and may 
126.21  be sentenced to not more than three years of imprisonment or a 
126.22  fine of not more than $5,000, or both. 
126.23     Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 609.892, 
126.24  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
126.25     Subdivision 1.  [APPLICABILITY.] The definitions in this 
126.26  section apply to sections 237.73, 609.892, and 609.893. 
126.27                             ARTICLE 9
126.28                        TECHNICAL PROVISIONS
126.29     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 13.679, is 
126.30  amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
126.31     Subd. 3.  [DATA ON COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE.] A 
126.32  telecommunications service provider's data on competitive market 
126.33  share included in a complaint and marked "trade secret" are 
126.34  classified as nonpublic data. 
126.35     Sec. 2.  [STUDY OF CABLE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
126.36  REGULATION.] 
127.1      The department of commerce shall conduct a study on cable 
127.2   and telecommunications regulation.  The study shall compare the 
127.3   federal, state, and local regulatory structures applicable to 
127.4   cable service providers, wireless telecommunications service 
127.5   providers, and wireline telecommunications service providers.  
127.6   The department shall issue a report to the legislature by 
127.7   January 1, 2003, containing its findings and recommendations.  
127.8   Specifically, the department shall determine whether elimination 
127.9   of regulatory distinctions between service providers using 
127.10  different technology platforms is legally possible within the 
127.11  context of the federal regulatory framework.  The report should 
127.12  also recommend whether such regulatory distinctions should be 
127.13  made, as a matter of public policy. 
127.14     Sec. 3.  [REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.] 
127.15     (a) If a provision of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 237, is 
127.16  further amended in the 2001 regular legislative session and this 
127.17  act is enacted by the 2001 regular legislative session, the 
127.18  revisor of statutes shall codify the amendment consistent with 
127.19  the recodification of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 237, by this 
127.20  act notwithstanding any law to the contrary. 
127.21     (b) The revisor shall make any necessary cross-reference 
127.22  changes in Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Rules in a manner 
127.23  consistent with this recodification. 
127.24     (c) The revisor shall publish the statutory derivations of 
127.25  the laws that are repealed and recodified in this act in Laws of 
127.26  Minnesota. 
127.27     (d) Wherever found in a provision of Minnesota Statutes not 
127.28  amended or added by this act, the revisor shall make the 
127.29  following changes to the words and terms indicated, as well as 
127.30  equivalent changes to their plural forms: 
127.31     (1) Change the word "telephone" to "telecommunications" 
127.32  when it modifies or refers to telephone advertising, telephone 
127.33  expense, telephone charge, telephone line, telephone hot line, 
127.34  interactive telephone-customer service terminal, or telephone 
127.35  message. 
127.36     (2) Change the terms "telephone company" and 
128.1   "telecommunications carrier" to "telecommunications service 
128.2   provider," except with respect to bond obligations, debt 
128.3   securities, and similar types of legal obligations or 
128.4   indebtedness. 
128.5      (3) Change "telecommunications access for 
128.6   communication-impaired persons" to "telecommunications access 
128.7   Minnesota." 
128.8      (4) Change "telephone assistance plan" to 
128.9   "telecommunications assistance program." 
128.10     (5) Do not change the following terms or their plural forms:
128.11  "telephone" when standing alone as a noun, "telephone use," 
128.12  "telephone conversation," "rural telephone cooperative," 
128.13  "telephone notification," "telephone review," "telephone call," 
128.14  "phone," or "telephone solicitation." 
128.15     Sec. 4.  [REPEALER.] 
128.16     Subdivision 1.  [STATUTES.] Minnesota Statutes 2000, 
128.17  sections 237.01; 237.011; 237.02; 237.03; 237.035; 237.036; 
128.18  237.04; 237.05; 237.06; 237.065; 237.066; 237.067; 237.068; 
128.19  237.069; 237.07; 237.071; 237.072; 237.075; 237.076; 237.081; 
128.20  237.082; 237.09; 237.10; 237.11; 237.115; 237.12; 237.121; 
128.21  237.14; 237.15; 237.16; 237.162; 237.163; 237.164; 237.17; 
128.22  237.18; 237.19; 237.20; 237.21; 237.22; 237.23; 237.231; 237.24; 
128.23  237.25; 237.26; 237.27; 237.28; 237.295; 237.30; 237.33; 237.34; 
128.24  237.35; 237.36; 237.37; 237.38; 237.39; 237.40; 237.44; 237.45; 
128.25  237.46; 237.461; 237.462; 237.47; 237.49; 237.50; 237.51, 
128.26  subdivisions 1, 5, and 5a; 237.52; 237.53; 237.54; 237.55; 
128.27  237.56; 237.57; 237.5799; 237.58; 237.59; 237.60; 237.61; 
128.28  237.62; 237.625; 237.626; 237.63; 237.64; 237.65; 237.66; 
128.29  237.661; 237.662; 237.663; 237.67; 237.68; 237.69; 237.70, 
128.30  subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4a, 5, 6, and 7; 237.701; 237.71; 237.711; 
128.31  237.73; 237.74; 237.75; 237.76; 237.761; 237.762; 237.763; 
128.32  237.764; 237.765; 237.766; 237.767; 237.768; 237.769; 237.770; 
128.33  237.771; 237.772; 237.773; 237.774; 237.775; 237.79; 237.80; 
128.34  237.81; 238.01; 238.02; 238.03; 238.08; 238.081; 238.082; 
128.35  238.083; 238.084; 238.086; 238.11; 238.12; 238.15; 238.16; 
128.36  238.17; 238.18; 238.22; 238.23; 238.24; 238.241; 238.242; 
129.1   238.25; 238.26; 238.27; 238.35; 238.36; 238.37; 238.38; 238.39; 
129.2   238.40; 238.41; 238.42; and 238.43, are repealed.  
129.3      Subd. 2.  [RULES.] Minnesota Rules, parts 7810.8715; 
129.4   7810.8720; 7810.8725; 7810.8730; 7810.8735; 7810.8740; 
129.5   7810.8745; 7810.8750; 7810.8755; 7810.8760; 7810.8800; 
129.6   7810.8805; 7810.8810; 7810.8815; 7810.8900; 7810.8905; 
129.7   7810.8910; 7810.8915; 7810.8920; 7810.8925; 7810.8930; 
129.8   7810.8935; 7810.8940; 7811.0050; 7811.0100; 7811.0150; 
129.9   7811.0200; 7811.0300; 7811.0350; 7811.0400; 7811.0500; 
129.10  7811.0550; 7811.0600; 7811.0700; 7811.0800; 7811.0900; 
129.11  7811.1000; 7811.1050; 7811.1100; 7811.1200; 7811.1300; 
129.12  7811.1400; 7811.1500; 7811.1600; 7811.1700; 7811.1800; 
129.13  7811.1900; 7811.2000; 7811.2100; 7811.2200; 7811.2300; 
129.14  7812.0050; 7812.0100, subparts 22, 23, 31, 32, 35, 45, and 47; 
129.15  7812.0200, subpart 2; 7812.0300, subparts 1, 2, 3, and 4; 
129.16  7812.0350; 7812.0400; 7812.0500; 7812.1300; 7812.1400; 
129.17  7815.0100; 7815.0200; 7815.0300; 7815.0400; 7815.0500; 
129.18  7815.0600; 7817.0100; 7817.0200; 7817.0300; 7817.0400; 
129.19  7817.0500; 7817.0600; 7817.0700; 7817.0800; 7817.0900; and 
129.20  7817.1000, are repealed. 
129.21     Sec. 5.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
129.22     Articles 1 to 9 are effective July 1, 2001.