|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 1064 - Accessible Electronic Information Service for Blind and Disabled Persons|
|Author:||Senator Jim Metzen|
|Prepared by:||Chris Turner, Senate Research (651/296-4350)|
|Date:||March 28, 2005|
The bill would establish, under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Employment and
Economic Development, an accessible electronic information service for blind and disabled persons,
funded by a surcharge on telephone companies and communication providers.
Section 1 requires the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development to annually recommend to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) a surcharge and budget to implement the accessible electronic information service described in section 3 of the bill. Requires the PUC to follow the same surcharge and budget review procedures that it uses when reviewing the annual recommendation for a surcharge and budget to assist communication-impaired persons under Minnesota Statutes, sections 236.50 to 237.57.
Section 2 appropriates an unspecified amount from the Telecommunications Access Minnesota Fund to the commissioner to implement the accessible electronic information service.
Section 3 defines the following terms for the purposes of the bill.
1. "Accessible electronic information access" means news and other timely information provided to eligible individuals from a multi-state service center, using high-speed computer and telecommunications technology for acquisition of content and rapid distribution in a form appropriate for use by those individuals.
2. "Blind and disabled persons" means an individual eligible for library loan services through the Library of Congress and the State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
3. "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development.
4. "Qualified entity" means an agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision of the state or a nonprofit organization that:
Section 4 requires the commissioner to enter into an agreement with a qualified entity to provide an accessible electronic information service for blind and disabled individuals. Requires the service to be planned for continuation from year to year.
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