Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 531 – Telecommunication equip/specialized
HOUSE BILL NO. 531
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H0531......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
TELECOMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT - Amends and adds to existing law to authorize
the use of the Telecommunications Relay Services Fund for the procurement,
financing and distribution of specialized telecommunications equipment; to
direct the Department of Health and Welfare to establish the program for
persons with qualifying disabilities; and to provide guidelines and
01/31 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/01 Rpt prt - to St Aff
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-sixth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2002
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 531
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO THE SPECIALIZED TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM;
3 AMENDING SECTION 61-1304, IDAHO CODE, TO AUTHORIZE USE OF THE FUND FOR
4 PROCUREMENT, FINANCING AND DISTRIBUTION OF SPECIALIZED TELECOMMUNICATIONS
5 EQUIPMENT AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AMENDING CHAPTER 9, TITLE
6 56, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 56-906, IDAHO CODE, TO
7 PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE SHALL ESTABLISH A PRO-
8 GRAM FOR THE PROCUREMENT, FINANCING AND DISTRIBUTION OF SPECIALIZED TELE-
9 COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT TO PERSONS WITH QUALIFYING DISABILITIES, TO PRO-
10 VIDE GUIDELINES AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
12 SECTION 1. That Section 61-1304, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
13 amended to read as follows:
14 61-1304. TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES FUND. (1) The administrator
15 shall establish a fund for the provision of relay services under this chapter ,
16 not including customer premises equipment, to be known and designated as the
17 Idaho telecommunications relay services fund, in such depository and under
18 such regulations rules as shall be established by the commission, to which
19 shall be credited:
20 (a) All monetary contributions, gifts and grants received by the adminis-
22 (b) All charges billed and collected pursuant to section 61-1305, Idaho
24 (2) No funds derived from charges billed and collected pursuant to sec-
25 tion 61-1305, Idaho Code, shall be used for the acquisition of end user text
27 (3) All moneys deposited in the telecommunications relay fund shall be
28 expended for the purpose of procuring, financing and distributing specialized
29 telecommunications equipment in accordance with the provisions of section
30 56-906, Idaho Code, and for defraying the expenses, debts and costs incurred
31 in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, and for defraying administra-
32 tive expenses of the administrator, including necessary expenses for consul-
33 tants to the administrator, expenses for travel, supplies and equipment and
34 other expenses of the administrator necessary for the implementation of the
35 provisions of this chapter. All moneys credited to the telecommunications
36 relay services fund may be expended by the administrator at such times and in
37 such manner as may be authorized by the commission.
38 SECTION 2. That Chapter 9, Title 56, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
39 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
40 ignated as Section 56-906, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
41 56-906. TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM. (1) The
1 department of health and welfare shall promulgate rules, policies and proce-
2 dures establishing and promoting a program to procure, finance and distribute
3 specialized telecommunications equipment to persons who, because of a disabil-
4 ity, are unable to use standard telecommunications equipment and require spe-
5 cialized telecommunications equipment. In the preparation of such rules, poli-
6 cies and procedures, the department shall consult with the Idaho state council
7 for the deaf and hard of hearing, the council on developmental disabilities,
8 the state independent living council, the commission on aging, and the commis-
9 sion for the blind and visually impaired.
10 (2) The programs shall be established pursuant to the following guide-
12 (a) In addition to any other funds appropriated therefore, funds as
13 needed for the program may be appropriated from the telecommunications
14 relay service fund as provided in section 61-1304, Idaho Code.
15 (b) Eligibility criteria shall include the following:
16 (i) The person shall have a disability that prohibits or limits the
17 ability of the person to use the telephone;
18 (ii) The person shall obtain certification of the disability from a
19 physician, an audiologist, a hearing aid dealer, or other profes-
20 sional authorized by the department to certify the disability;
21 (iii) The person shall have a telephone in the home.
22 (c) A person with income at or below one hundred fifty percent (150%) of
23 the federal poverty level shall receive equipment at no cost.
24 (d) The equipment shall be provided to eligible persons on a lease basis
25 with ownership of the equipment to be retained by the state.
26 SECTION 3. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby
27 declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its
28 passage and approval.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation will establish a program to secure and distribute
specialized telecommunications equipment for persons who are deaf,
hard of hearing, speech impaired, or mobility impaired. The PUC will
order a surcharge to be collected on each end user’s business,
residential and wireless access service and transfer that money
to a dedicated account in the Department of Health and Welfare.
The Department of Health and Welfare, with the advice of the
Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the State Independent
Living Council, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired,
the Developmental Disabilities Council, and the Commission on Aging
will promulgate rules outlining eligibility criteria for persons to
receive specialized telecommunications equipment, including, but
not limited to, requiring certification that the recipient cannot
use the telephone for communications without the specialized
telecommunications equipment, and have an income at, or below, 150%
of the federal poverty level.
There is no fiscal impact to the general fund.
Name: Raymond Lockary
Phone: Call Idaho Relay Service 711
Ask the Communications Assistant to call (208)342-7481
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 531