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. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 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
budgetbudgets 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 departmentdepartments 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. Subd. 2. [ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION 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 256C.23. (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.