Well, for now, the Legislature is on summer recess. The Assembly recessed on July 3, 2013 and the Senate on July 11, 2013. This is not a typo or mistake, in fact, the Legislature was unable to coordinate their calendars, thus the Assembly returns on August 5, 2013 and the Senate on August 12, 2013. The end of session for this year will be September 13, 2013 for both houses. Therefore, when they return in August, it will be a whirlwind of activity with only 5 weeks to the end of session.
To date, there have been many actions and discussions regarding the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) with oversight hearings and approving a “zero” based budget wherein the State Legislature will require an accounting of how every single dollars is spent by the CPUC. Speaking of the budget, during budget negotiations there was an attempt to move the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) from the CPUC and create a new office called the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) allowing them to have their own budget and work separate from the CPUC. This budget item went to the Budget Conference Committee, however, was not approved to move forward.
Some of the other bills CalCom is actively following are:
- AB 300 (Perea) – Would enact the “Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge and Collection Act,” which establishes a method for collecting all of these state and local fees on prepaid wireless communications service through a point-of-sale collection by retailers. This bill continues to move through the Legislature.
- AB 1407 (Bradford) – Would reform the Universal Lifeline Program to expand to wireless as well as wireline telephone service. Recently passed the Senate Energy, Utilities and Commerce Committee.
- AB 1299 (Bradford) – Would authorize $20 million from ASF to be used to connect broadband networks to publicly supported housing. Passed Senate, Energy, Utilities and Commerce Committee.
- AB 911 (Bloom) – Sponsored by CalNENA. The bill would make specific requirements to ensure rapid emergency response for persons calling 911 from a telephone served by a MLTS by requiring those systems to transmit precise call location to the PSAP. Passed first Senate policy committee, will be heard in Senate Appropriations in August.
- SB 740 (Padilla) – Bill would have expanded the ASF funding. Failed in Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee.
- SB 129 (Wright) – Extends the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP) surcharge for ten years as it will expire January 1, 2014. Has passed the house of origin and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
- SB 380 (Padilla) – Would prohibit interrupting service for the purpose of protecting public safety without a court order. Continues to move through the legislative process.