The bill amends the requirements for the imposition, collection, and uses of the emergency telephone charge imposed by local 911 governing bodies. Current law imposes a statutory cap on the amount of the emergency telephone charge that may be imposed by local governing bodies. The bill allows the public utilities commission (commission) to establish the authorized threshold amount for the charge on an annual basis. A local governing body may impose the charge in an amount up to the authorized threshold. If a governing body determines it needs to impose a higher charge to fund 911 operations in its jurisdiction, it must seek the approval of the commission.
The bill amends the procedures for the collection and remittance of the emergency telephone charge by telecommunication service suppliers. It provides procedures for local bodies to assess overdue or unpaid remittances, imposes a time limitation for local governing bodies to do so, and creates a process for the service supplier and local governing body to extend that time period. Local governing bodies may audit the collections of service suppliers, and may impose interest and penalties on late remittances.
A new 911 surcharge (surcharge) is established as a collection for local governing bodies. The amount of the surcharge is established each year by the commission based on the needs of the local governing bodies. Service suppliers must collect the surcharge from service users and remit the money to the commission. The commission is required to transmit the money collected to local governing bodies within 60 days, using a formula based on the number of concurrent sessions maintained in the governing bodies' jurisdictions.
The bill renames the prepaid wireless 911 charge and amends the amount of the charge. Under current law, the amount is set in statute. The bill requires the commission to establish the amount of the charge based on the average amount of the emergency telephone charges imposed by local governing bodies and the amount of the surcharge.
The bill amends the allowed uses of the money collected from the 3 charges and makes other conforming amendments.
Upgrades to wireless 911 service in unserved areas is added as an allowable use of the money allocated from the high cost support mechanism to broadband deployment. The broadband deployment board may award money to projects to allow wireless carriers to upgrade infrastructure, software, and technology to provide wireless 911 service in unserved areas.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)