Amended in Assembly June 20, 2016

Amended in Senate May 3, 2016

Amended in Senate April 26, 2016

Amended in Senate April 12, 2016

Amended in Senate March 28, 2016

Senate BillNo. 1212


Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 18, 2016


An act to amend Section 280 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 1212, as amended, Hueso. “2-1-1” information and referral network.

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), pursuant to its existing authority over the North American Numbering Plan, has established several abbreviated dialing codes, including designating the number 9-1-1 for persons to dial to obtain emergency services, designating the number 3-1-1 for persons to dial for nonemergency police assistance, and designating the number 2-1-1 for persons to dial to obtain information about, and referral to, community social services. Pursuant to authority delegated by the FCC to state regulatory bodies and its existing statutory authority, the Public Utilities Commission has established procedures for implementing 2-1-1 dialing in California.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to facilitate the expansion of 2-1-1 services into those counties in California where they are lacking and to support a comprehensive statewide database that will connect all callers to information and referrals they need. The bill would additionally state the intent of the Legislature to facilitate access to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery information, and referral services, uniformly in the state, especially in hard-to-serve rural areas, through a universally available telephone service.

Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer a program to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations. Existing law requires that all revenues collected by telephone corporations in rates authorized by the commission to fund this program be deposited in the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund. Existing law provides that moneys in the fund are held in trust and may be expended only upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or upon supplemental appropriation and requires that all moneys appropriated to the commission from the fund be used exclusively for the program.

begin delete

This

end delete

begin insertIf the commission determines that doing so is an appropriate use of funds collected from ratepayers, theend insert bill would, until January 1, 2023, authorize the commission to expend up to $1,500,000 from the fund to help close 2-1-1 service gaps in counties lacking access to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery information and referral services, where technically feasible, through available 2-1-1 service.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(1) In order to create a statewide disaster preparedness, response,
4and recovery system and to facilitate the reach of local services to
5vulnerable populations, this act is established to expand 2-1-1
6services to all areas of California that do not currently have access
7to this vital service.

8(2) 2-1-1 service is a free, accessible, three-digit telephone
9number that gives everyone in covered areas access to needed
P3    1community services. First established in 2005, 2-1-1 service now
2covers 38 California counties. It is available 24 hours a day, seven
3days a week, allowing residents to access information about health
4and human services, emergency care, crisis intervention, and
5disaster preparedness, response, and recovery when they need it
6most.

7(3) 2-1-1 service is a natural hub for disaster-related information
8and plays a critical role during emergencies and disasters, such as
9fires, floods, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and epidemics, reducing
10nonemergency call volume on 9-1-1 lines, which frees up
11emergency responders to deal with true life-or-death situations,
12thus leveraging local public safety resources.

13(4) 2-1-1 service also increases the reach of government,
14nonprofit, and community programs by offering callers information
15on and access to a variety of health and human services, rent and
16utility assistance, physical and mental health resources,
17employment opportunities, support for older Americans and
18persons with disabilities, and support for families with special
19needs.

20(5) 2-1-1 service call centers are staffed with highly trained
21specialists who have expertise in navigating the web of health and
22human services in a particular community and who have up-to-date
23information and guidance for callers in times of disaster.

24(6) 2-1-1 service call center specialists are able to answer calls
25in over 150 different languages; they are able to provide critical
26health information to otherwise hard-to-reach ethnic populations.

27(7) Twenty rural counties in California currently do not have
28access to 2-1-1 services, creating holes in referral services and
29disaster response capability.

30(b) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this act, to
31facilitate the expansion of 2-1-1 services into those counties in
32California where they are lacking and to support a comprehensive
33statewide database that will connect all callers to the information
34and referrals they need.

35(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to facilitate access to disaster
36preparedness, response, and recovery information, and referral
37services, uniformly in the state, especially in hard-to-serve rural
38areas, through a universally available 2-1-1 telephone service.

39

SEC. 2.  

Section 280 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
40to read:

P4    1

280.  

(a) The commission shall develop, implement, and
2administer a program to advance universal service by providing
3discounted rates to qualifying schools maintaining kindergarten
4or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, community colleges, libraries,
5hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, consistent
6with Chapter 278 of the Statutes of 1994.

7(b) There is hereby created the California Teleconnect Fund
8Administrative Committee, which is an advisory board to advise
9the commission regarding the development, implementation, and
10administration of a program to advance universal service by
11providing discounted rates to qualifying schools maintaining
12kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, community
13colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community
14organizations, consistent with Chapter 278 of the Statutes of 1994,
15and to carry out the program pursuant to the commission’s
16direction, control, and approval.

17(c) All revenues collected by voice communications providers
18in rates authorized by the commission to fund the program specified
19in subdivision (a) shall be submitted to the commission pursuant
20to a schedule established by the commission. The commission
21shall transfer the moneys received to the Controller for deposit in
22the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund.
23All interest earned by moneys in the fund shall be deposited in the
24fund.

25(d) Except as provided in subdivisions (e) and (g), moneys
26 appropriated from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative
27Committee Fund to the commission shall be utilized exclusively
28by the commission for the program specified in subdivision (a),
29including all costs of the board and the commission associated
30with the administration and oversight of the program and the fund.

31(e) Moneys loaned from the California Teleconnect Fund
32Administrative Committee Fund in the Budget Act of 2003 are
33subject to Section 16320 of the Government Code. If the
34commission determines a need for moneys in the California
35Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund, the commission
36shall notify the Director of Finance of the need, as specified in
37Section 16320 of the Government Code. The commission may not
38increase the rates authorized by the commission to fund the
39program specified in subdivision (b) while moneys loaned from
40the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund
P5    1in the Budget Act of 2003 are outstanding unless both of the
2following conditions are satisfied:

3(1) The Director of Finance, after making a determination
4pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16320 of the Government
5Code, does not order repayment of all or a portion of any loan
6from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee
7Fund within 30 days of notification by the commission of the need
8for the moneys.

9(2) The commission notifies the Director of Finance and the
10Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in writing
11that it intends to increase the rates authorized by the commission
12to fund the program specified in subdivision (a). The notification
13required pursuant to this paragraph shall be made 30 days in
14advance of the intended rate increase.

15(f) Subdivision (e) shall become inoperative upon full repayment
16or discharge of all moneys loaned from the California Teleconnect
17Fund Administrative Committee Fund in the Budget Act of 2003.

18(g) (1) Consistent with Decisionbegin delete 10-06-002 (June 7, 2010)
19Decision Granting Petition for Rulemaking and Order Instituting
20Rulemaking as to Whether to Enable Emergency Access to 211
21Services in Counties and Localities Without Existing 211 Centers,
22as modified in Decision 10-12-060 (December 20, 2016),end delete

23begin insert 11-09-016 (September 8, 2011) Decision Granting Authority to
24Provide Emergency Access to 211 Services in Counties and
25Localities Without Existing 211 Centers and to Appoint a 211 Lead
26Entity, if it determines that doing so is an appropriate use of funds
27collected from ratepayers,end insert
the commission may expend up to one
28million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) from the
29California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fundbegin insert for
30one-time costsend insert
to help close 2-1-1 service gaps in counties lacking
31access to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery information
32and referral services, where technically feasible, through available
332-1-1 service.begin delete One-time costs may include implementation of a
34coordinated publicly owned databaseend delete
begin insert As the lead agency appointed
35by the commission in Decision 11-09-016, 2-1-1 California may
36apply to the commission for use of the funds in the counties that
37lack 2-1-1 service. If the commission determines that doing so is
38an appropriate use of funds collected from ratepayers, these costs
39may include local implementation of a coordinated database that
P6    1is owned by a city or countyend insert
to provide referrals to help with
2nonemergency aspects of disaster planning, recovery, and response.

3(2) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1,
42023.



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