The2nd meeting of the Special Subcommittee on Energy was held on Thursday, December 7, 2000, at 10:00 AM, in Room 327 of the Capitol. Representative Thomas McKee, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Thomas McKee, Chair; Senators David Boswell, Alice Kerr, Marshall Long, Vernie McGaha, and Joey Pendleton; Representatives Royce Adams, Eddie Ballard, Buddy Buckingham, Dwight Butler, Bob DeWeese, J. R. Gray, Tommy Turner, and Charles Walton.
Guests:† Becky Barnes, John Patterson, Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Emergency Telecommunications Board; Kip Bowmar, Kentucky Association for Community Action; Martin Huelsman and Debbie Eversole, Public Service Commission (PSC); Jerry Deaton, Municipal Electric Power Assoc. of KY. (MEPAK); Hank List; Mark Dempsy, American Electric Power (AEP); John McCarthy; John Cooper, BellSouth Cellular; Ron England, Cynthiana-Harrison County E911; Eric Gregory, East Kentucky Power; Russ Cave, Verizon.
LRC Staff:† D.Todd Littlefield, Dan Risch, Tanya Monsanto, and Sheri Mahan
Upon motion made by Senator Boswell, seconded by Representative Gray, the minutes of the previous meeting were approved as written.
Rebecca Barnes, from the office of House Majority Whip Joe Barrows, spoke on the history, the background, and the provisions of the 1998 legislation creating the Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Emergency Telecommunications Board. The board was created in 1998 to administer a fund to be used to upgrade the ability of emergency responders and wireless phone carriers to locate emergency 911 calls from wireless phones. Representative Ballard asked about the current balance in the fund, which was about $13.9 million. Representative DeWeese and Representative Walton asked questions which were deferred so that Mr. Patterson could respond.
The next speaker was John Patterson, Administrator of the CMRS. He provided additional background on the formation and progress of the CMRS Board and gave a status report on the counties which have Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) that have been certified by the board to receive CMRS funds. Chairman McKee asked if non-participating counties all have some form of 911 emergency service. Patterson said that four do have some 911 service, but that the bulk of them do not. The chair asked Patterson to outline eligibility requirements for counties and asked about the relationship between wireless and wireline emergency service. Patterson responded that the FCC has directed that states fund the deployment of technology that will increase the ability of emergency responders to locate 911 callers who call on cell phones. The chair also requested a forecast for the changes that will occur as the result of the disbursement of CMRS funds. Patterson outlined the phase one and phase two requirements of the FCC rulemaking, the later phase requiring more accuracy in pinpointing the location of an emergency call. The chair asked when Phase II will be completed. Patterson said that carriers must provide Phase II service to requesting PSAPs by October 1 of next year, but that not all counties will be ready for that level of service by then. Representative Walton asked how the portion of funds designated for administrative costs was used. Patterson listed salaries for two employees, office expenses, board member expenses, travel and the required audit. He further noted that high audit expenses may require more administrative funds in the future. Representative Walton asked if program cost estimates had been available at the time the legislation was proposed. Patterson said that carrier estimates of what the technology would cost were used but that few accurate figures were available at that time. Representative Gray inquired about over-reporting of a single incident by large numbers of cell-phone users as they pass an accident site on the highway. Patterson acknowledged that this is a problem and that public education measures are being considered to deal with it.
Chairman McKee then directed members to their packets for copies of the CMRS regulations being proposed. The regulations are promulgated to implement the provisions of the 1998 legislation. They were first considered at the July meeting, but deferred in order to correct some problems. Patterson pointed out that a number of the regulations have changes where references to dispute resolution were changed from references to 202KAR6:040 to references to KRS Chapter 13B instead. The committee moved on to consider 202 KAR 6:030 where an internal conflict was resolved by eliminating the subsection where collection actions were authorized against non-payers of the 70 cent per month surcharge. Also added were subsections dealing with penalties for violation of the confidentiality sections and appeals from such penalties. Patterson described some language changes to 202 KAR 6:050 and then proposed that some amendments be made to 6:060 in light of the delay since the printed amendments were prepared. He proposed to change the date by which PSAPs must be certified in order to share in the early disbursements of funds. The chair asked the secretary to read back the changes proposed. Representative Gray moved that the changes be adopted, Senator Boswell seconded and the motion passed on a voice vote. The chair then proposed that all five regulations (202 KAR 6:010; 6:020, 6:030, 6:050, and 6:060), as amended, be voted on in a single vote. Senator Boswell moved that the committee vote in that fashion and the motion was seconded by Representative Gray. The motion carried on a voice vote. Senator Boswell then moved that all 5 regulations, as amended, comply with statutory requirements. Representative Gray seconded. Chairman McKee asked for a roll call vote and the motion carried with 12 yeas, no nays and no passes.
The next agenda item was a review of proposed changes to 807 KAR 5:063, promulgated by the Public Service Commission, dealing with notice to surrounding landowners when a cell tower is proposed. Presenting the regulation to the subcommittee on behalf of the PSC was Debra Eversole and Martin Huelsmann. Representative Adams asked if the regulation would apply to counties not under the jurisdiction of a planning and zoning commission. Eversole replied that it would not. Representative Gray echoed the concern of Representative Adams that rural counties without planning commissions be covered by this type of requirement. Representative Adams moved that the proposed changes to the regulation comply with statutory requirements, Representative Buckingham seconded and the motion passed by voice vote.
Kip Bowmar of the Kentucky Association for Community Action was introduced and gave information concerning the increase in applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Senator Boswell asked about the correlation between LIHEAP and the weatherization program. Bowmar replied that 15% of LIHEAP funds are transferred to weatherization. Senator Boswell expressed dismay over the perceived collaboration of the federal government with owners of substandard rental units in the area of Section 8 subsidies, LIHEAP, and weatherization. Bowmar pointed out that there is a cost-share requirement for landlords to share in weatherization funds and that some landlords choose not to participate. Representative Walton shared the Senatorís concern and favored building energy-efficient rental units for the poor. Representative Adams offered praise for the speed at which LIHEAP checks are being issued to vendors. Senator Boswell moved that staff be requested to look at whether the federal Section 8 rental subsidy program has guidelines on weatherization. Representative Gray seconded and the motion passed on a voice vote. The chairman asked if there would be any need for the subcommittee to pass a motion as has been done in the past in order to encourage the federal government to supplement LIHEAP dollars. Bowmar responded that this would become clearer after the subsidy portion of the program closes. Senator Boswell moved that a resolution urging federal action be drafted for later use if necessary. Representative Buckingham seconded and the motion passed on a voice vote.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:32 a.m.