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TO AMEND CHAPTER 9, TITLE 58, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND TELEPHONE, TELEGRAPH, AND EXPRESS COMPANIES, BY ADDING ARTICLE 8 SO AS TO ENACT THE "NO TELEPHONE SOLICITATION ACT", TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMPILATION AND MAINTENANCE BY THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF A LIST OF TELEPHONE CUSTOMERS WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE SOLICITED BY TELEPHONE, TO REQUIRE TELEPHONE SOLICITORS TO ACQUIRE THE LIST FOR A FEE AND PROHIBIT THEM FROM SOLICITING THE CUSTOMERS ON THE LIST BY TELEPHONE, AND TO PROVIDE FOR CIVIL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE PROVISIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 30-4-40, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AT, SO AS TO EXEMPT THE "NO TELEPHONE SOLICITATION LIST" DATABASE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-445, RELATING TO CRIMINAL REGULATION OF UNSOLICITED TELEPHONE CALLS, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE USE OF THE "NO TELEPHONE SOLICITATION LIST" BY A TELEPHONE SOLICITOR.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 9, Title 58 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 58-9-900. This chapter may be cited as the 'No Telephone Solicitation List Act'.
Section 58-9-910. A telephone solicitor, as defined in Section 16-17-445, may not make or cause to be made an unsolicited consumer telephone call to a telephone customer whose name appears on the most current 'No Telephone Solicitation List' as prescribed in this chapter and regulations promulgated pursuant to it.
For purposes of this article, an unsolicited consumer telephone call does not include communications made by or on behalf of a financial services institution or entity as defined in and subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1681 or the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act, 113 Stat. 1338.
Section 58-9-920. The South Carolina Public Service Commission shall maintain a 'No Telephone Solicitation List' of telephone customers for the purpose of restricting unsolicited consumer telephone calls as defined in Section 16-17-445.
Section 58-9-930. No later than six months after the effective date of this chapter, the commission shall promulgate regulations to restrict unsolicited consumer telephone calls in accordance with this chapter. The regulations must include provisions that specify:
(1) the methods by which a telephone customer may request that the commission include his telephone number on or remove him from the 'No Telephone Solicitation List';
(2) how often a request for inclusion on the 'No Telephone Solicitation List' must be renewed;
(3) the effect of a telephone customer's change of telephone number on the 'No Telephone Solicitation List';
(4) the methods by which the telephone customer requests are collected and information added to or deleted from the 'No Telephone Solicitation List';
(5) the methods by which the 'No Telephone Solicitation List' may be obtained by telephone solicitors;
(6) a reasonable fee, not to exceed two hundred dollars annually, payable by a telephone solicitor to the commission to obtain an initial copy, as well as updated copies of the list for one year;
(7) a reasonable fee, not to exceed ten dollars, payable by a telephone customer to the commission for initial inclusion of his listing on the 'No Telephone Solicitation List'; and
(8) a reasonable fee, not to exceed five dollars, payable by a telephone customer to the commission for annual or biannual renewal of his listing on the 'No Telephone Solicitation List'.
Section 58-9-940. If the Federal Communications Commission, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Section 227(c)(3), establishes a single national database of telephone numbers of subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations, the Public Service Commission must provide the database established by this article as this State's portion of the national database.
Section 58-9-950. The commission shall update the 'No Telephone Solicitation List' periodically, but at least quarterly, including initial inclusion, renewal, and removal of a listing on the 'No Telephone Solicitation List' in cases in which a telephone customer has complied with the regulations adopted pursuant to this article.
Section 58-9-960. Information contained in the database established pursuant to this article may be used only for the purposes of compliance with this article or in a proceeding or action brought pursuant to this article. The information is not subject to public inspection or disclosure pursuant to Section 30-4-40.
Section 58-9-970. A 'No Telephone Solicitation Fund' must be established by the commission. All fees collected pursuant to this chapter must be deposited in this fund and the commission shall use the fund for the administration, enforcement, and public education in connection with this chapter.
Section 58-9-980. A telephone solicitor who makes unsolicited consumer telephone calls in this State must purchase a copy of the 'No Telephone Solicitation List' from the commission. The written application to the commission for purchase of the list must contain the telephone solicitor's name, address, telephone number, and name of the agent for service of process.
Section 58-9-990. A telephone solicitor or person who offers for sale consumer information that includes residential, mobile, or paging device telephone numbers, other than directory assistance or telephone directories sold by bona fide telephone companies, may not include those telephone customer numbers that appear on the most current 'No Telephone Solicitation List'.
Section 58-9-1000. A violation of this chapter subjects the telephone solicitor to a civil penalty, to be imposed by the magistrate's court, of not more than five hundred dollars for a first offense, not more than two thousand five hundred dollars for a second offense, and not more than five thousand dollars for a third or subsequent violation.
Penalties received pursuant to this section must be deposited with the commission and designated for the No Telephone Solicitation Fund held by the commission."
SECTION 2. Section 30-4-40(a) of the 1976 Code is amended by adding an appropriately numbered item to read:
"( ) The 'No Telephone Solicitation List' database established by Chapter 9 of Title 58."
SECTION 3. Section 16-17-445(E) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Every Each telephone solicitor operating in this State who makes unsolicited consumer telephone calls shall implement in-house systems and procedures whereby every effort is made not to call subscribers who ask not to be called again. A telephone solicitor operating in this State who makes unsolicited consumer telephone calls shall use the 'No Telephone Solicitation List' established pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 58. The department has the authority to may monitor compliance with this provision these provisions. A person or his agent who has an interest in a vacation ownership plan or vacation timesharing plan may have the unit telephone number removed from a solicitor's in-house calling lists list by sending written notification to the solicitor."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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