State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT to amend the  Public  Utilities  Act  by  changing
 2    Section 13-301.1.

 3        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section 5.   The  Public  Utilities  Act  is  amended  by
 6    changing Section 13-301.1 as follows:

 7        (220 ILCS 5/13-301.1) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 13-301.1)
 8        Sec.  13-301.1.   Universal  Telephone Service Assistance
 9    Program.
10        (a)  The Commission shall by rule or regulation establish
11    a Universal Telephone  Service  Assistance  Program  for  low
12    income residential customers. The program shall provide for a
13    reduction  of  access line charges, a reduction of connection
14    charges, or any other alternative to  increase  accessibility
15    to  telephone  service  that  the  Commission deems advisable
16    subject to the availability  of  funds  for  the  program  as
17    provided  in  subsection (b).  The Commission shall establish
18    eligibility requirements for benefits under the program.
19        (b)  The Commission shall require by rule  or  regulation
20    that each telecommunications carrier providing local exchange
21    telecommunications  services notify its customers that if the
22    customer  wishes  to  participate  in  the  funding  of   the
23    Universal  Telephone  Service Assistance Program he may do so
24    by electing to contribute, on a monthly basis, a fixed amount
25    that will be included in the customer's  monthly  bill.   The
26    customer  may  cease  contributing at any time upon providing
27    notice to  the  telecommunications  carrier  providing  local
28    exchange  telecommunications services. The notice shall state
29    that any contribution made will  not  reduce  the  customer's
30    bill  for  telecommunications services.  Failure to remit the
31    amount of increased  payment  will  reduce  the  contribution
                            -2-                LRB9112375JSpc
 1    accordingly.   The Commission shall specify the monthly fixed
 2    amount or amounts that customers wishing to contribute to the
 3    funding of the Universal Telephone Service Assistance Program
 4    may  choose  from  in  making  their  contributions.    Every
 5    telecommunications    carrier    providing   local   exchange
 6    telecommunications   services   shall   remit   the   amounts
 7    contributed in accordance with the  terms  of  the  Universal
 8    Telephone Service Assistance Program.
 9        (c)  The  Department  of  Commerce and Community Affairs,
10    the Department of  Human  Services,  and  the  Department  of
11    Public  Aid  shall provide to each telecommunications carrier
12    providing local exchange telecommunications services  a  list
13    of  customers  who  are  eligible for the Universal Telephone
14    Service Assistance Program and who  are  located  within  the
15    service area of the carrier.  The list must include:
16             (1)  the name and address of each eligible customer;
17        and
18             (2)  if  applicable,  the  telephone  number of each
19        eligible customer.
20        These Departments shall provide to the telecommunications
21    carrier an updated list of the  eligible  customers  in  this
22    State   once   every   6  months.   The  Commission  and  the
23    Departments  may  adopt  such  rules  as  are  necessary   to
24    coordinate  the  acquisition and provision of the information
25    required to  be  provided  pursuant  to  this  Section.   The
26    information    provided    by    the   Departments   to   the
27    telecommunications carriers shall remain confidential and may
28    only be used for the purposes of this Section.
29        (d)  Within  7  days  after  determining  that  a  person
30    located in its  service  area  is  an  eligible  customer,  a
31    telecommunications carrier shall notify the eligible customer
32    that  he  or she will receive lifeline services, unless he or
33    she specifically  declines  to  receive  the  services.   The
34    notification must include;
                            -3-                LRB9112375JSpc
 1             (1)  information   about   the   lifeline   service,
 2        including,  without  limitation,  the  date  on which the
 3        service will begin and any  options  or  responsibilities
 4        that  the  eligible  customer  may  have  related  to the
 5        receipt of that service;
 6             (2)  a self-addressed, postage  paid  response  card
 7        that   the   eligible   customer   must   return  to  the
 8        telecommunications carrier to decline the services; and
 9             (3)  a statement that the telecommunications carrier
10        will  automatically  provide  lifeline  services  to  the
11        eligible customer unless the eligible  customer  declines
12        the  services  by  returning  to  the  telecommunications
13        carrier the response card included with the notification.
14        To  decline  lifeline services, an eligible customer must
15    return the response card to  the  telecommunications  carrier
16    not  later than 10 days before the date on which the services
17    are scheduled to begin.
18        (e)  A telecommunications carrier shall  begin  providing
19    lifeline  services  to  all  eligible customers not declining
20    services no later than 60 days after the date  on  which  the
21    telecommunications  carrier  receives  the  list  of eligible
22    customers.   A  carrier  shall  continue  providing  lifeline
23    services to an eligible customer until it  is  notified  that
24    the  customer  is  no  longer eligible for the program or the
25    eligible customer notifies the telecommunications carrier  in
26    writing  that he or she wishes to discontinue receiving those
27    services.
28    (Source: P.A. 87-750; 90-372, eff. 7-1-98.)

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