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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language


                         Laws of Minnesota 1990 

                        CHAPTER 598-S.F.No. 2317 
           An act relating to utilities; providing for the 
          assessment of expenses for adjudicating service area 
          disputes to municipal electric utilities; providing 
          for civil penalties for violations of chapter 237; 
          reestablishing the position of program administrator 
          of the telecommunications access for 
          communication-impaired persons board; extending the 
          electric utility service area task force until 1992; 
          requiring a study; appropriating money; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 216B.62, subdivision 
          5; 237.51, subdivision 5; proposing coding for new law 
          in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 237. 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 216B.62, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  The commission and department shall be authorized 
to charge cooperative electric associations and municipal 
electric utilities their proportionate share of the expenses 
incurred in the adjudication of service area disputes and all of 
the costs incurred in the adjudication of complaints over 
service standards and, practices, and rates.  Cooperative 
electric associations electing to become subject to rate 
regulation by the commission pursuant to section 216B.02 
216B.026, subdivision 4, shall also be subject to this section. 
    Sec. 2.  [237.461] [ENFORCEMENT.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [ACTIONS.] This chapter and rules and 
orders of the commission adopted under this chapter may be 
enforced by any one or combination of:  criminal prosecution, 
action to recover civil penalties, injunction, action to compel 
performance, and other appropriate action. 
    Subd. 2.  [CIVIL PENALTY.] A person who knowingly and 
intentionally violates a provision of this chapter or rule or 
order of the commission adopted under this chapter shall forfeit 
and pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be determined by 
the court, of at least $100 and not more than $1,000 for each 
day of each violation.  The civil penalties provided for in this 
section may be recovered by a civil action brought by the 
attorney general in the name of the state.  Amounts recovered 
under this section must be paid into the state treasury. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 237.51, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [DUTIES.] In addition to any duties specified 
elsewhere in sections 237.51 to 237.56, the board shall: 
    (1) define economic hardship, special needs, and household 
criteria so as to determine the priority of eligible applicants 
for initial distribution of devices and to determine 
circumstances necessitating provision of more than one 
communication device per household; 
    (2) establish a method to verify eligibility requirements; 
    (3) establish specifications for communication devices to 
be purchased under section 237.53, subdivision 3; 
    (4) enter contracts for the establishment and operation of 
the message relay service pursuant to section 237.54; 
    (5) inform the public and specifically the community of 
communication-impaired persons of the program; 
    (6) prepare the reports required by section 237.55; 
    (7) administer the fund created in section 237.52; 
    (8) retain the services reestablish and fill the position 
of a program administrator in the unclassified service; 
    (9) adopt rules, including emergency rules, under chapter 
14 to implement the provisions of sections 237.50 to 237.56; and 
    (10) study the potential economic impact of the program on 
local communication device retailers and dispensers. 
Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 16B, the board shall 
develop guidelines for the purchase of some communication 
devices from local retailers and dispensers if the study 
determines that otherwise they will be economically harmed by 
implementation of sections 237.50 to 237.56. 
    Sec. 4.  [TASK FORCE.] 
    The task force established by Laws 1989, chapter 309, is 
continued until January 31, 1992.  The speaker of the house of 
representatives and the subcommittee on committees of the senate 
committee on rules and administration shall each appoint five 
members of their respective houses to the task force.  At least 
one member from each house of the legislature must be a member 
of the minority caucus.  The task force shall consider the 
results of the study required by section 5 and report its 
recommendations to the legislature by February 1, 1992. 
    Sec. 5.  [STUDY.] 
    The department of public service may employ the services of 
a consultant to study issues raised in the report required by 
Laws 1989, chapter 309, section 1.  The study must focus on the 
effect of utility capacity on rates, and must attempt to 
identify procedures and processes to review and coordinate 
capacity planning by regulated and unregulated utilities so that 
adequate attention is given not only to ways to meet future 
demand, but also to forecast and find efficient use for surplus 
capacity.  The public utilities commission shall cooperate with 
the department on the study.  The department may assess the 
costs of the study to the affected utilities in proportion to 
their gross operating revenues, but not more than $200,000 less 
any amount assessed under Laws 1989, chapter 309, section 1, 
subdivision 6.  The department shall use the proceeds of any 
assessment under this section to cover its own costs and those 
incurred by the commission, including the cost of employing a 
consultant and staff time. 
    Sec. 6.  [APPROPRIATION.] 
    Assessments collected under section 5 are appropriated to 
the department of public service to cover the costs associated 
with the study required by section 5.  The money is available 
until March 1, 1992.  Any money from assessments unexpended on 
that date remains in the general fund. 
    Presented to the governor April 28, 1990 
    Signed by the governor May 3, 1990, 5:47 p.m.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes