|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 409 - Termination of Contracts Entered Into by Military Personnel (The SCS0409A-1 Delete-Everything Amendment)|
|Author:||Senator Sharon Erickson Ropes|
|Prepared by:||Thomas S. Bottern, Senate Counsel (651/296-3810)|
|Date:||March 6, 2007|
Section 1. Utility Payment Arrangements.
Subdivision 1. Restriction on Disconnection. prohibits a municipal utility, cooperative electric association, or public utility from disconnecting service to a residential customer if a member of the household has been issued orders into active duty or for a permanent change in duty station if the customer:
(1) has a household income of less than the state median income or is receiving energy assistance and enters into a payment schedule; or
(2) has a household income of more than the state median income and has entered into a reasonable payment schedule.
Subdivision 2. Annual Notice to All Customers. requires utilities subject to this section to notify all residential customers of these provisions annually and provide forms to request the protections provided by this legislation.
Subdivision 3. Application to Service Limiters. defines "disconnection" to include a service or load limiter.
Subdivision 4. Income Verification. authorizes the utility to verify income for the purposes of this section, but provides that the customer is automatically eligible for protection if the customer receives any form of public assistance.
Subdivision 5. Appeal Process. requires the utility to inform the customer of the right to appeal a determination by the utility under this section and prohibits the utility from disconnecting service during a pending appeal.
Section 2. Cancellation Without Penalty of Wireless Contracts. authorizes any service member who has been issued orders into active duty, for deployment, or for a permanent change of duty station, or the spouse of the service member to terminate a wireless service contract without penalty.
Defines "service member" to include any business entity wholly owned by the service member or the spouse. The service contract will be terminated 30 days after the service member is provided notice by certified mail and after the wireless telephone is returned to the provider.
Section 3. Cancellation of Rental, Club, and Membership Travel Contracts. authorizes a service member who has entered into a rental, club, or membership travel contract to cancel the contract with no penalty and with a full refund of any deposit if the service member has been ordered into active duty, for deployment, or for a permanent change of duty station after the contract has been executed, and if the deployment or change of duty station makes it impractical for the service member to abide by the contract. The service member must provide notice to the provider within two weeks of receipt of orders.
Section 4. Other Rights and Protections. extends the consumer and credit protections available to service members under the Federal Service Members Civil Relief Act, United States Code Title 50, sections 501 to 596, to any business that is wholly owned by the service member or the service member's spouse.
Section 5. Enforcement. provides that section 1 (Utility Payments) may be enforced under the laws governing the Public Utilities Commission. Section 2 (Wireless Contracts) and section 3 (Rental, Club, and Membership Travel Contracts) may be enforce by the Attorney General.
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