Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 81-S.F.No. 1064 
                  An act relating to telecommunications; establishing an 
                  accessible electronic information service for blind 
                  and disabled persons; appropriating money; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 237.52, subdivisions 
                  2, 4; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
                  Statutes, chapters 248; 256C. 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 237.52, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ASSESSMENT.] (a) The commissioner of commerce, 
        the commissioner of employment and economic development, and the 
        commissioner of human services shall annually recommend to the 
        commission an adequate and appropriate surcharge and budget to 
        implement sections 237.50 to 237.56, 248.062, and 256C.30, 
        respectively.  The maximum annual budget for section 248.062 
        must not exceed $100,000 and for section 256C.30 must not exceed 
        $300,000.  The Public Utilities Commission shall review 
        the budget budgets for reasonableness and may modify the budget 
        to the extent it is unreasonable.  The commission shall annually 
        determine the funding mechanism to be used within 60 days of 
        receipt of the recommendation of the department departments and 
        shall order the imposition of surcharges effective on the 
        earliest practicable date.  The commission shall establish a 
        monthly charge no greater than 20 cents for each customer access 
        line, including trunk equivalents as designated by the 
        commission pursuant to section 403.11, subdivision 1. 
           (b) If the fund balance falls below a level capable of 
        fully supporting all programs eligible under subdivision 5 and 
        sections 248.062 and 256C.30, expenditures under sections 
        248.062 and 256C.30 shall be reduced on a pro rata basis and 
        expenditures under sections 237.53 and 237.54 shall be fully 
        funded.  Expenditures under sections 248.062 and 256C.30 shall 
        resume at fully-funded levels when the commissioner of commerce 
        determines there is a sufficient fund balance to fully fund 
        those expenditures. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 237.52, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [APPROPRIATION.] Money in the fund is 
        appropriated to the commissioner of commerce to implement 
        sections 237.51 to 237.56, to the commissioner of employment and 
        economic development to implement section 248.062, and to the 
        commissioner of human services to implement section 256C.30. 
           Sec. 3.  [248.061] [DEFINITIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE.] The definitions in this section 
        apply to sections 248.061 and 248.062. 
        SERVICE.] "Accessible electronic information service" means news 
        and other timely information, including newspapers, provided to 
        eligible individuals from a service center, using high-speed 
        computers and telecommunications technology for acquisition of 
        content and rapid distribution in a form appropriate for use by 
        those individuals. 
           Subd. 3.  [ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUAL.] "Eligible individual" 
        means an individual who is eligible for library loan services 
        through the Library of Congress and the State Library for the 
        Blind and Physically Handicapped under Code of Federal 
        Regulations, title 36, section 701.10, subsection (b). 
           Subd. 4.  [COMMISSIONER.] "Commissioner" means the 
        commissioner of employment and economic development.  
           Subd. 5.  [QUALIFIED ENTITY.] "Qualified entity" means an 
        agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision of the state 
        or a nonprofit organization that:  
           (1) provides access for an eligible individual to read 
        daily newspapers through producing audio or Braille editions by 
        computer; or 
           (2) provides a means of program administration and reader 
        registration on the Internet.  
           Sec. 4.  [248.062] [DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.] 
           The commissioner must enter into agreements with qualified 
        entities to provide an accessible electronic information service 
        for eligible individuals.  This service must be planned for 
        continuation from year to year. 
           Sec. 5.  [256C.30] [DUTIES OF HUMAN SERVICES COMMISSIONER.] 
           (a) As described in this section, the commissioner of human 
        services must enter into grant agreements with television 
        stations to make live local news programming accessible to deaf, 
        hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind persons as defined in section 
           (b) The grant agreements must provide for: 
           (1) real-time captioning services for broadcasting that is 
        not emergency broadcasting subject to Code of Federal 
        Regulations, title 47, section 79.2; 
           (2) real-time captioning services for commercial 
        broadcasters in areas of Minnesota where commercial broadcasters 
        are not subject to the live programming closed-captioning 
        requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 47, section 
        71.1(e)(3); and 
           (3) real-time captioning for large-market noncommercial 
        broadcasters who produce live news programming. 
           (c) For the purposes of this section, "real-time captioning"
        means a method of captioning in which captions are 
        simultaneously prepared and transmitted at the time of 
        origination by specially trained real-time captioners. 
           Sec. 6.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 4 as they relate to duties and powers related 
        to section 248.062 are effective the day following final 
        enactment and apply to the budget for Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 248.062, for services provided after April 15, 2005. 
           Sec. 7.  [SUNSET.] 
           Sections 3 to 5 expire June 30, 2010. 
           Presented to the governor May 20, 2005 
           Signed by the governor May 24, 2005, 2:10 p.m.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes