Report Title:

Cable TV; PEG Access organizations; Governance; Sunshine

 

Description:

Establishes requirements for cable TV PEG access organizations relating to funding, governance, filings, and compliance with sunshine and information practices laws. (SD2)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2351

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2002

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 2


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO PUBLIC ACCESS CABLE TELEVISION.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the director of commerce and consumer affairs currently appoints a majority of the members of the board of directors of nonprofit access organizations and the cable franchise holder appoints a minority of directors. The nonprofit access organizations were established to be independent entities that manage facilities and coordinate programming on designated public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access cable television channels. The legislature supports the public policy that these private, independent, nonprofit organizations should not be governed by voting board members who are appointed by a state official or cable franchise holder, or through any other means that could create a conflict of interest or compromise the organizations' independence.

The purpose of this Act is to amend chapter 440G, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by adding open meeting and document disclosure requirements, reporting requirements, and specific criteria for the governance structure of nonprofit PEG access organizations.

SECTION 2. Chapter 440G, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"440G-    PEG access organizations. (a) The director shall establish provisions for public, educational, and governmental access consistent with this chapter by contracting with independent nonprofit organizations to oversee the development, operation, supervision, management, production, or distribution of programs for any channels obtained under section 440G-8.

(b) The director shall assign a portion of franchise fees, referred to as the "access operating fee", to fund operations of the PEG access organizations, and additional funds for equipment and facilities.

(c) Each PEG access organization's bylaws shall provide that voting members of the governing board of directors shall not be any of the following:

(1) An appointee of any elected or appointed official of the State or of a cable franchise holder in the State;

(2) An elected or appointed official of the State; or

(3) An employee or controlling interest holder of a cable franchise holder in the State.

(d) PEG access organizations shall be contractually obligated to comply with the provisions of chapters 92 and 92F that are appropriate for a nongovernmental entity.

(e) Each PEG access organization shall file with the director documents and reports including but not limited to governing documents, strategic planning documents, financial budgets and audits, performance measures, and service evaluations. The reports shall be on a schedule and in a form prescribed by the director and shall be kept on file open to the public."

SECTION 3. Section 440G-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "access organization" to read as follows:

"["Access] "PEG access organization" means any nonprofit organization designated by the director to oversee the development, operation, supervision, management, production, or [broadcasting] distribution of programs for any public, educational, or governmental access channels obtained under section 440G-8, and any officers, agents, and employees of such an organization with respect to matters within the course and scope of their employment by the access organization."

SECTION 4. As of the effective date of this Act, that portion of any contract or agreement between the State and a public, educational, and governmental access organization that does not meet the requirements of sections 2 and 3 shall be void.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2003.