Report Title:

Cable TV; Regulation Transferred to Counties; PEG Funding

Description:

Transfers the regulation of cable television from the State to the counties. Requires the counties to assess cable operators to support public access programming.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

842

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to cable television.

 

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

SECTION 1. Chapter 46, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"46- Regulation of cable television systems by counties; legal obligations; transfer of personnel; access operating fee. (a) Effective July 1, 2004, all rights, powers, functions, and duties of the cable television division of the department of commerce and consumer affairs are transferred to the counties.

(b) All deeds, leases, contracts, loans, agreements, permits, or other documents executed or entered into by or on behalf of the cable television division of the department of commerce and consumer affairs, that are transferred to or made applicable to the counties by this section, shall remain in full force and effect. Effective July 1, 2004, every reference to the department of commerce and consumer affairs, the director of commerce and consumer affairs, the cable television division, or the administrator of the cable television division, shall be construed as a reference to the respective counties, as appropriate.

(c) Effective July 1, 2004, all personnel employed by the cable television division of the department of commerce and consumer affairs shall be transferred to the appropriate county pursuant to a plan approved by the State and the counties. All transferred personnel shall acquire county civil service status without loss of salary, seniority, prior service credits, vacation, sick leave, or other employee benefits or privileges as a consequence of the transfer; provided that subsequent changes in status may be made pursuant to personnel laws of the respective counties. If an office or position held by a transferred employee having tenure is affected by workload changes or is abolished, the employee shall not be separated from public employment, but shall remain in the employment of the State in accordance with civil service law, the applicable bargaining unit contract, or state personnel rules and regulations, whichever is applicable.

(d) Effective July 1, 2004, all records, equipment, files supplies, books, papers, documents, maps, and other property made, used, acquired, or held by the department of commerce and consumer affairs in the exercise of the functions transferred by this section shall be transferred to the respective counties.

(e) Effective July 1, 2004, the counties shall require each cable operator to pay an amount equal to per cent of the cable operator's gross revenue to be used for public, educational, and governmental uses and for other public purposes as designated by the counties.

For purposes of this subsection, "gross revenue" means all cash, credits, property of any kind or nature, or other consideration derived directly or indirectly by the cable operator, its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, and any other person or entity in which the cable operator has a financial interest or which has a financial interest in the cable operator, arising from or attributable to operation of the cable system including but not limited to revenue from:

(1) All charges for entertainment or non-entertainment services provided to subscribers;

(2) All charges for the insertion of commercial advertisements upon the cable system;

(3) All charges for the leased use of studios or channels;

(4) All charges for the installation, connection, and reinstatement of equipment necessary for the utilization of the cable system and the provision of subscriber and other service; and

(5) The sale, exchange, use, or cablecast of any programming developed for community use or institutional users.

"Gross revenue" includes the value of any goods, services, or other remuneration in nonmonetary form valued at contract price levels, received by the cable operator, its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, and any other person or entity in which the cable operator has a financial interest or which has a financial interest in the cable operator, in consideration of the provision of advertising or other services in connection with the cable system."

SECTION 2. Section 26-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (o) to read as follows:

"(o) Every person licensed under any chapter within the jurisdiction of the department of commerce and consumer affairs and every person licensed subject to chapter 485 or registered under chapter 467B shall pay upon issuance of a license, permit, certificate, or registration a fee and a subsequent annual fee to be determined by the director and adjusted from time to time to ensure that the proceeds, together with all other fines, income, and penalties collected under this section, do not surpass the annual operating costs of conducting compliance resolution activities required under this section. The fees may be collected biennially or pursuant to rules adopted under chapter 91, and shall be deposited into the special fund established under this subsection. Every filing pursuant to chapter 514E or section 485-6(15) shall be assessed, upon initial filing and at each renewal period in which a renewal is required, a fee that shall be prescribed by rules adopted under chapter 91, and that shall be deposited into the special fund established under this subsection. Any unpaid fee shall be paid by the licensed person, upon application for renewal, restoration, reactivation, or reinstatement of a license, and by the person responsible for the renewal, restoration, reactivation, or reinstatement of a license, upon the application for renewal, restoration, reactivation, or reinstatement of the license. If the fees are not paid, the director may deny renewal, restoration, reactivation, or reinstatement of the license. The director may establish, increase, decrease, or repeal the fees when necessary pursuant to rules adopted under chapter 91.

There is created in the state treasury a special fund to be known as the compliance resolution fund to be expended by the director's designated representatives as provided by this subsection. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all revenues, fees, and fines collected by the department shall be deposited into the compliance resolution fund. Unencumbered balances existing on June 30, 1999, in [the cable television fund under chapter 440G,] the division of consumer advocacy fund under chapter 269, the financial institution examiners' revolving fund, section 412:2-109, the special handling fund, section 414-13, and unencumbered balances existing on June 30, 2002, in the insurance regulation fund, section 431:2-215, shall be deposited into the compliance resolution fund. This provision shall not apply to the drivers education fund underwriters fee, section 431:10C-115, insurance premium taxes and revenues, revenues of the workers' compensation special compensation fund, section 386-151, the captive insurance administrative fund, section 431:19-101.8, the insurance commissioner's education and training fund, section 431:2-214, the medical malpractice patients' compensation fund as administered under section 5 of Act 232, Session Laws of Hawaii 1984, and fees collected for deposit in the office of consumer protection restitution fund, section 487-14, the real estate appraisers fund, section 466K-1, the real estate recovery fund, section 467-16, the real estate education fund, section 467-19, the contractors recovery fund, section 444-26, the contractors education fund, section 444-29, and the condominium management education fund, section 514A-131. Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the director may use the moneys in the fund to employ, without regard to chapter 76, hearings officers, investigators, attorneys, accountants, and other necessary personnel to implement this subsection. Any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the moneys in the fund shall be used to fund the operations of the department. The moneys in the fund may be used to train personnel as the director deems necessary and for any other activity related to compliance resolution.

As used in this subsection, unless otherwise required by the context, "compliance resolution" means a determination of whether:

(1) Any licensee or applicant under any chapter subject to the jurisdiction of the department of commerce and consumer affairs has complied with that chapter;

(2) Any person subject to chapter 485 has complied with that chapter;

(3) Any person submitting any filing required by chapter 514E or section 485-6(15) has complied with chapter 514E or section 485-6(15);

(4) Any person has complied with the prohibitions against unfair and deceptive acts or practices in trade or commerce; or

(5) Any person subject to chapter 467B has complied with that chapter;

and includes work involved in or supporting the above functions, licensing, or registration of individuals or companies regulated by the department, consumer protection, and other activities of the department.

The director shall prepare and submit an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the use of the compliance resolution fund. The report shall describe expenditures made from the fund including non-payroll operating expenses."

SECTION 3. Section 481P-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]481P-5[]] Exemptions. This chapter shall not apply to:

(1) A person who initiates telephone calls to a residence for the sole purpose of polling or soliciting the expression of ideas, opinions, or votes, or a person soliciting solely for a political or religious cause or purpose;

(2) A securities broker-dealer, salesperson, investment [[]adviser[]], or investment [[]adviser[]] representative who is registered with this State to sell securities or who is authorized to sell securities in this State pursuant to federal securities laws, when soliciting over the telephone within the scope of the person's registration;

(3) A financial institution that is authorized to accept deposits under its chartering or licensing authority where such deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration, such as a bank, savings bank, savings and loan association, depository financial services loan company, or credit union, or a nondepository financial services loan company that is licensed or authorized to conduct business in this State by the commissioner of financial institutions, or an affiliate or subsidiary of a financial institution as defined in chapter 412;

(4) A person or organization that is licensed or authorized to conduct business in this State by the commissioner of insurance including but not limited to an insurance company and its employees, while engaged in the business of selling or advertising the sale of insurance products or services;

(5) A college or university accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education;

(6) A person who publishes a catalog of at least fifteen pages, four times a year, with a circulation of at least one hundred thousand, where the catalog includes clear disclosure of sale prices, shipping, handling, and other charges;

(7) A political subdivision or instrumentality of the United States, or any state of the United States;

(8) The sale of goods or services by telecommunications or landline (i.e., cable) or wireless video service providers, for which the terms and conditions of the offering, production, or sale are regulated by the public utilities commission or the Federal Communications Commission, [or pursuant to chapter 440G,] including the sale of goods or services by affiliates of these telecommunications or video service providers; provided that nothing herein shall be construed to preclude or preempt actions brought under any other laws including chapter 480;

(9) A real estate broker or salesperson who is licensed by this State to sell real estate, when soliciting within the scope of the license; or

(10) A travel agency that is registered with this State, when engaging in the business of selling or advertising the sale of travel services."

SECTION 4. Chapter 440G, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

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

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that sections 2, 3, and 4 shall take effect on July 1, 2004.

INTRODUCED BY:

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