South Carolina Legislature


 

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S*778
Session 112 (1997-1998) 

S*0778(Rat #0411, Act #0399 of 1998)  General Bill, By Bryan

Similar(H 4242) A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING DEFINITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS, SO AS TO DEFINE COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICE AND SO AS TO INCLUDE OTHER DEFINITIONS IN THAT CONNECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-50, RELATING TO SUBSCRIBER BILLING, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A UNIFORM MONTHLY CMRS 911 CHARGE, FOR THE FILING OF A RETURN AND REMITTANCE OF CHARGES COLLECTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, AND FOR ITS MAINTENANCE BY THE STATE TREASURER IN A SEPARATE FUND FOR DISTRIBUTION ONLY AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 23-47-65, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE CHARGE IS NOT REVENUE OF THE SERVICE SUPPLIER AND IS THE LIABILITY OF THE SERVICE SUBSCRIBER; TO ADD SECTION 23-47-65 SO AS TO CREATE THE COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICE (CMRS) EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SERVICES ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO ASSIST THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD IN IMPLEMENTING A WIRELESS ENHANCED 911 SYSTEM CONSISTENT WITH FCC DOCKET NUMBER 94-102 AND PROVIDE FOR MEMBERSHIP, TERMS, POWERS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEE, INCLUDING DISTRIBUTION OF MONIES IN A SEPARATE STATE FUND MADE UP OF CMRS 911 CHARGES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-70, RELATING TO LIABILITY, SO AS TO LIMIT THE LIABILITY OF A CMRS SERVICE SUPPLIER IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISION OF 911 SERVICE AND TO GRANT IMMUNITY TO A CMRS SERVICE SUPPLIER IN CONNECTION WITH RELEASE OF SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION TO A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AS REQUIRED BY LAW; TO ADD SECTION 23-47-75 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CMRS LOCATION INFORMATION AND OTHER DATA IN A 911 SYSTEM IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND MAY NOT BE DISCLOSED; AND TO PROVIDE FOR OPERATION TO BEGIN AUGUST 1, 1998, AND 911 CHARGES TO BE IMPOSED BEGINNING NOVEMBER 1, 1998.-AMENDED TITLE 05/22/97 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-7 05/22/97 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-7 03/18/98 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary SJ-9 03/19/98 Senate Amended SJ-22 03/19/98 Senate Read second time SJ-22 03/31/98 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-18 04/01/98 House Introduced and read first time HJ-17 04/01/98 House Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry HJ-18 05/14/98 House Committee report: Majority favorable with amend., minority unfavorable Labor, Commerce and Industry HJ-33 05/20/98 House Amended HJ-165 05/20/98 House Debate interrupted HJ-176 05/21/98 House Tabled HJ-26 05/21/98 House Roll call Yeas-53 Nays-50 HJ-28 05/26/98 House Reconsider vote whereby tabled HJ-27 05/27/98 House Read second time HJ-63 05/27/98 House Roll call Yeas-82 Nays-23 HJ-65 05/28/98 House Read third time and returned to Senate with amendments HJ-113 06/02/98 Senate Concurred in House amendment and enrolled SJ-58 06/04/98 Ratified R 411 06/11/98 Became law without Governor's signature 06/11/98 Effective date 06/11/98-with the committee commencing operations on August 1, 1998, and CMRS collection of surcharges commencing on 11/01/98 06/25/98 Copies available 06/30/98 Act No. 399


(A399, R411, S778)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS, SO AS TO DEFINE COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICE AND SO AS TO INCLUDE OTHER DEFINITIONS IN THAT CONNECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-50, RELATING TO SUBSCRIBER BILLING, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A UNIFORM MONTHLY CMRS 911 CHARGE, FOR THE FILING OF A RETURN AND REMITTANCE OF CHARGES COLLECTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, AND FOR ITS MAINTENANCE BY THE STATE TREASURER IN A SEPARATE FUND FOR DISTRIBUTION ONLY AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 23-47-65, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE CHARGE IS NOT REVENUE OF THE SERVICE SUPPLIER AND IS THE LIABILITY OF THE SERVICE SUBSCRIBER; TO ADD SECTION 23-47-65 SO AS TO CREATE THE COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICE (CMRS) EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SERVICES ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO ASSIST THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD IN IMPLEMENTING A WIRELESS ENHANCED 911 SYSTEM CONSISTENT WITH FCC DOCKET NUMBER 94-102 AND PROVIDE FOR MEMBERSHIP, TERMS, POWERS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE COMMITTEE, INCLUDING DISTRIBUTION OF MONIES IN A SEPARATE STATE FUND MADE UP OF CMRS 911 CHARGES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-47-70, RELATING TO LIABILITY, SO AS TO LIMIT THE LIABILITY OF A CMRS SERVICE SUPPLIER IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISION OF 911 SERVICE AND TO GRANT IMMUNITY TO A CMRS SERVICE SUPPLIER IN CONNECTION WITH RELEASE OF SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION TO A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AS REQUIRED BY LAW; TO ADD SECTION 23-47-75 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CMRS LOCATION INFORMATION AND OTHER DATA IN A 911 SYSTEM IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND MAY NOT BE DISCLOSED; AND TO PROVIDE FOR OPERATION TO BEGIN AUGUST 1, 1998, AND 911 CHARGES TO BE IMPOSED BEGINNING NOVEMBER 1, 1998.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Definitions

SECTION 1. Section 23-47-10 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 245 of 1991, is amended to read:

Section 23-47-10. As used in this chapter:

(1) '911 charge' means a fee for the 911 service start-up equipment costs, subscriber notification costs, addressing costs, billing costs, and nonrecurring and recurring installation, maintenance service, and network charges of a service supplier providing 911 service as provided in this chapter.

(2) '911 system' or '911 service' means an emergency telephone system that provides the user of the public telephone system with the ability to reach a public safety answering point by dialing the digits 911. The term 911 system or service also includes 'enhanced 911 service', which means an emergency telephone system with 911 service and, in addition, directs 911 calls to appropriate public safety answering points by selective routing based on the geographical location from which the call originated and provides the capability for automatic number identification and automatic location identification features.

(3) '911 plan' means a plan for the 911 system, enhanced 911 system, or any amendment to the plan developed by a county or municipality.

(4) 'Basic 911 system' means a system by which the various emergency functions provided by public safety agencies within each local government's jurisdiction may be accessed utilizing the three-digit number 911, but no available options of enhanced systems are included in the system.

(5) 'Enhanced 911 network features' means selective routing, automatic number identification, and location identification.

(6) 'Enhanced 911 system' means enhanced 911 service, which is a telephone exchange communications service consisting of telephone network features and public safety answering points designated by the local government which enables users of the public telephone system to access a 911 public safety communications center by dialing the digits 911. The service directs 911 calls to appropriate public safety answering points by selective routing based on the geographical location from which the call originated and provides the capability for automatic number identification and automatic location identification.

(7) 'Addressing', with respect to nonCMRS exchange access service, means the assigning of a numerical address and street name (the name may be numerical) to each location within a local government's geographical area necessary to provide public safety service as determined by the local government. This address replaces any route and box number

currently in place in the '911' database and facilitates quicker response by public safety agencies.

(8) 'Automatic location identification' means an enhanced 911 service capability that enables the automatic display of information.

(9) 'Automatic number identification' means an enhanced 911 service capability that enables the automatic display of the seven-digit number used to place a 911 call.

(10) 'Board' means the South Carolina State Budget and Control Board.

(11) 'Committee' means the CMRS Emergency Telephone Service Advisory Committee established in this chapter.

(12) 'CMRS Connection' means each mobile number assigned to a CMRS customer.

(13) 'Commercial Mobile Radio Service' (CMRS) means commercial mobile service under Sections 3(27) and 332(d), Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. Section 151, et seq.), Federal Communications Commission Rules, and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. The term includes any wireless two-way communication device, including radio-telephone communications used in cellular telephone service, personal communication service, or the functional and/or competitive equivalent of a radio-telephone communications line used in cellular telephone service, a personal communication service, or a network radio access line. The term does not include services that do not provide access to 911 service, a communication channel suitable only for data transmission, a wireless roaming service or other nonlocal radio access line service, or a private telecommunications system.

(14) 'Customer' means the local government subscribing to 911 service from a service supplier.

(15) 'Enhancement' means any addition to a 911 system such as automatic number identification, selective routing of calls, or other future technological advancements, as determined by the Public Service Commission for nonCMRS exchange access companies.

(16) 'Exchange access facility' means the access from a particular telephone subscriber's premises to the telephone system of a service supplier. Exchange access facilities include service supplier provided access lines, PBX trunks, and Centrex network access registers, all as defined by the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Exchange access facilities do not include service supplier owned and operated telephone pay station lines, or wide area telecommunications service (wats), foreign exchange (fx), or incoming lines.

(17) 'Local government' means any city, county, or political subdivision of the State.

(18) 'Mapping' means the development of a computerized geographical display system of roads and structures where emergency response may be required.

(19) 'Public safety agent' means a functional agency which provides fire fighting, law enforcement, medical, or other emergency services.

(20) 'Public safety answering point' (PSAP) means a communications facility operated on a twenty-four hour basis which first receives 911 calls from persons in a 911 service area and which may directly dispatch public safety services or extend, transfer, or relay 911 calls to appropriate public safety agencies. A PSAP may be designated to a primary or secondary exchange service, referring to the order in which calls are directed for answering.

(21) 'Regional systems' means the formation of two or more local governments or multi-jurisdictional systems for the purpose of jointly forming and funding 911 systems.

(22) 'Selective routing' means the method employed to direct 911 calls to the appropriate public safety answering point based on the geographical location from which the call originated.

(23) 'Service subscriber' means any person, company, corporation, business, association, or party not exempt from county or municipal taxes or utility franchise assessments who is provided telephone (local exchange access facility) service in the political subdivision or CMRS service.

(24) 'Service supplier' means any person, company, or corporation, public or private, providing exchange telephone service or CMRS service to end users.

(25) 'Rate' means the recurring or nonrecurring rates billed by the service supplier, which represents the service supplier's recurring charges for exchange access facilities, exclusive of all taxes, fees, licenses, or similar charges.

(26) 'Telephone subscriber' or 'subscriber' means a person or entity to whom exchange telephone service, either residential or commercial, is provided and in return for which the person or entity is billed on a monthly basis. When the same person, business, or organization has several telephone access lines, each exchange access facility constitutes a separate subscription.

CMRS 911 surcharge and fund

SECTION 2. Section 23-47-50(F) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 245 of 1991, is amended to read:

"(F) Fees collected by the service supplier pursuant to this section are not subject to any tax, fee, or assessment, nor are they considered revenue of the service supplier. A monthly CMRS 911 charge is levied for each CMRS connection for which there is a mobile identification number containing an area code assigned to South Carolina by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator. The amount of the levy must be approved annually by the board at a level not to exceed the average monthly telephone (local exchange access facility) 911 charges paid in South Carolina. The committee may calculate the CMRS 911 charge based upon a review of one or more months during the year preceding the calculation of telephone (local exchange access facility) charges paid in South Carolina. The CMRS 911 charge must have uniform application and must be imposed throughout the State; however, trunks or service lines used to supply service to CMRS providers shall not be subject to a CMRS 911 levy. On or before the twentieth day of the second month succeeding each monthly collection of the CMRS 911 charges, every CMRS provider shall file with the Department of Revenue a return under oath, in a form prescribed by the department, showing the total amount of fees collected for the month and, at the same time, shall remit to the department the fees collected for that month. The department shall place the collected fees on deposit with the State Treasurer. The funds collected pursuant to this subsection are not general fund revenue of the State and must be kept by the State Treasurer in a fund separate and apart from the general fund to be expended as provided in Section 23-47-65."

CMRS 911 surcharge and fund

SECTION 3. Section 23-47-50 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 245 of 1991, is amended by adding:

"(G)(1) Fees collected by the service supplier pursuant to this section are not subject to any tax, fee, or assessment, nor are they considered revenue of the service supplier.

(2) A 911 charge, including a CMRS 911 charge, shall be added to the billing by the service supplier to the service subscriber and may be stated separately.

(3) A billed subscriber shall be liable for any 911 charge, including a CMRS 911 charge, imposed under this chapter until it has been paid to the service supplier."

CMRS Emergency Telephone Services Advisory Committee

SECTION 4. Chapter 47, Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 23-47-65. (A)(1) The CMRS Emergency Telephone Services Advisory Committee is created to assist the board in carrying out its responsibilities in implementing a wireless enhanced 911 system consistent with FCC Docket Number 94-102. The committee shall be appointed by the Governor and shall consist of: the State Auditor, ex officio; the Director of the Office of Information Resources, Budget and Control Board, ex officio; two CMRS providers licensed to do business in the State; two 911 system employees; and one telephone (local exchange access facility) service supplier licensed to do business in the State; and one consumer. Local governments and related organizations such as the National Emergency Number Association may recommend PSAP Committee members, and industry representatives may recommend wireline and CMRS committee members to the Governor. There is no expense reimbursement or per diem payment from the fund created by the CMRS surcharge made to members of the committee.

(2) All committee members, except the ex officio members, must be appointed for a three-year term by the Governor. Committee members may be appointed to one subsequent term.

(3) In the event a vacancy arises, it must be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner of the original appointment. A partial term does not count towards the term limits, however service for three-fourths or more of a term constitutes service for a term.

(4) Any committee member who terminates his holding of the office or employment which qualified him for appointment shall cease immediately to be a member of the committee; the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall do so for the unexpired term of the member whom he succeeds.

(5) The committee shall establish its own procedures with respect to the selection of officers, quorum, place, and conduct of meetings.

(B) The responsibilities of the committee with respect to CMRS emergency telephone services are:

(1) Advise the board on technical issues regarding the implementation of a wireless E911 system, especially matters concerning appropriate systems and equipment to be acquired by CMRS providers and PSAPS, to assure the compatibility of the systems and equipment and the ability of the systems and equipment to comply with the requirements of FCC Docket Number 94-102.

(2) Recommend systems and equipment for which reimbursement may be allowed to CMRS providers and PSAPS under the provisions of this chapter, which are compatible with each other as needed for the public's safety, and will not result in wasteful spending on inappropriate or redundant technology.

(C) The responsibilities of the board with respect to CMRS emergency telephone services are:

(1) upon approval of the board, the State Treasurer shall manage and disburse the funds from the account in the following manner:

(a) distribute not more than thirty-nine percent of the total monthly revenues in the interest-bearing account to PSAP administrators based on CMRS 911 call volume for expenses incurred for the answering, routing, and proper disposition of CMRS 911 calls;

(b) hold and distribute not to exceed fifty-seven percent of the total monthly revenues in the interest-bearing account solely for the purposes of complying with applicable requirements of FCC Docket Number 94-102. These funds may be utilized by the PSAP and the CMRS providers licensed to do business in this State for the following purposes in connection with compliance with the FCC requirements: upgrading, acquiring, maintaining, programming, and installing necessary data, hardware, and software. Invoices detailing specific expenses for these purposes must be presented to the board in connection with any request for reimbursement, and the request must be approved by the board, upon recommendation of a majority vote of the committee. Any invoices presented to the board for reimbursements of costs not described by this section may be approved only by a unanimous vote of the committee, but in no event shall reimbursement be made for costs unrelated to compliance with applicable requirements of FCC Docket Number 94-102;

(c) utilize an amount not to exceed two percent of the monthly fees collected to compensate the independent auditor provided for herein and for expenses which the board is authorized to incur by contract, or otherwise, for provision of any administrative, legal, support, or other services to assist the board in fulfilling its responsibilities under this act;

(d) with the State Auditor's Office and the State Treasurer, prepare annual reports outlining fees collected and monies disbursed to PSAP and CMRS providers, and submit annual reports outlining monies disbursed for operations of the board;

(e) retain an independent, private auditor, as provided in the Consolidated Procurement Code, for the purposes of receiving, maintaining, and verifying the accuracy of any proprietary information submitted to the board by CMRS providers or PSAP's, and assisting the committee in its duties, including its annual calculation of the average 911 charges pursuant to Section 23-47-50(f) and in any cost studies it may conduct. Due to the confidential and proprietary nature of the information submitted by CMRS providers, the information may not be released to a party other than the State Auditor and is expressly exempt from disclosure pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 30. The information collected by the auditor shall only be released in aggregate amounts that do not identify or allow identification of numbers of subscribers or revenues attributable to an individual CMRS provider;

(f) annually calculate the average 911 charge as provided in Section 23-47-50(F);

(g) conduct a cost study to be submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee one year from the effective date of this section and thereafter at the board's discretion. The board may include any information it deems appropriate to assist the General Assembly in determining whether future legislation is necessary or appropriate, but the report must include information to assist in determining whether to adjust the CMRS 911 charge to reflect actual costs incurred by PSAP's or CMRS providers for compliance with applicable requirements of FCC Docket Number 94-10.

(2) The board and committee must take appropriate measures to maintain the confidentiality of the proprietary information described in Section 23-47-65(B)(2)(e). This information may be disclosed to board and committee members only in the event a dispute arises with respect to the board's and committee's discharge of their responsibilities under Section 23-47-65(B)(2) which necessitates such disclosure. The information shall also be exempt from disclosure pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 30. Members of the board may not disclose the information to any third parties, including their employers.

(3) The board and committee must take appropriate measures to see that all CMRS service suppliers comply with the requirements of Section 23-47-50(F).

(4) The board shall convene the committee, and consult with it concerning the performance of the responsibilities assigned to the board and to the committee in this chapter, and the development and maintenance of the state's CMRS emergency telephone services and system.

(5) The board shall report as required or suggested by this chapter, and shall promulgate any regulations, and take such further actions, as are appropriate in implementing it.

(C) CMRS providers are entitled to retain two percent of the fees collected as reimbursement for collection and handling of the CMRS 911 charge.

(D) At the end of the three-year term, on August 1, 2001, the committee's existence terminates and all its duties and powers devolve to the board, except that the committee may continue to exist and function upon adoption by the General Assembly of a joint resolution extending its existence past August 1, 2001."

Limits on and immunity from liability

SECTION 5. Section 23-47-70 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 245 of 1991, is amended by adding:

"(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in no event shall any CMRS service supplier or its officers, employees, assigns, or agents be liable for civil damages or criminal liability in connection with the development, design, installation, operation, maintenance, performance, or provision of 911 service unless such event was the result of reckless, wilful, or wanton conduct of the CMRS service supplier or its officers, employees, assigns, or agents.

No CMRS service supplier or its officers, employees, assigns, or agents shall be liable for civil damages or criminal liability in connection with the release of subscriber information to any governmental entity as required under the provisions of this chapter."

CMRS information not to be disclosed

SECTION 6. Chapter 47, Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 23-47-75. (A) CMRS location information obtained by safety personnel or for public safety personnel for public safety purposes is not public information under the Freedom of Information Act.

(B) A person may not disclose or use, for any purpose other than for the 911 or other emergency calling system, information contained in the data base of the telephone network portion of a 911 or other emergency calling system established pursuant to this chapter."

Severability of provisions

SECTION 7. If any provision of this act or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Time effective

SECTION 8. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor, with the committee commencing operations on August 1, 1998, and CMRS collection of surcharges commencing on November 1, 1998.

Became law without the signature of the Governor -- 06/11/98.




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