Florida Senate - 2023                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 626
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Regulated Industries (DiCeglie) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 364.391, Florida Statutes, is created to
    6  read:
    7         364.391 Rural electric cooperatives engaged in the
    8  provision of broadband.—
    9         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   10         (a)Affiliate” means an entity related through a parent
   11  cooperative’s controlling interest. The term includes a
   12  subsidiary or any other entity under common control with the
   13  cooperative.
   14         (b)“Cooperative” means a rural electric cooperative
   15  established pursuant to chapter 425.
   16         (c)“Engages in the provision of broadband” means an entity
   17  that:
   18         1.Provides broadband service directly, through an
   19  affiliate, or pursuant to an agreement with a third party; or
   20         2.Accepts broadband grant funding pursuant to s. 288.9962
   21  or from any other federal or state program offering grants to
   22  expand broadband Internet service to unserved areas of this
   23  state.
   24         (2)If a cooperative engages in the provision of broadband:
   25         (a)All poles owned by the cooperative are subject to
   26  regulation under s. 366.04(8) on the same basis as if such
   27  cooperative were a public utility under that subsection; and
   28         (b)The commission may access the books and records of such
   29  cooperative to the limited extent necessary to perform its
   30  functions and to exercise its authority under ss. 366.04(8) and
   31  366.97(4). Upon request of the cooperative, any records the
   32  commission receives under this paragraph which are proprietary
   33  confidential business information under s. 364.183 or s. 366.093
   34  shall retain their status as confidential or exempt from
   35  disclosure under s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   36  Constitution.
   37         (3)This section may not be construed to impair the
   38  contract rights of a party to a valid pole attachment agreement
   39  in existence before July 1, 2023.
   40         Section 2. Section 425.04, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   41  read:
   42         425.04 Powers.—A cooperative shall have all of the
   43  following powers power:
   44         (1) To sue and be sued, in its corporate name.;
   45         (2) To have perpetual existence.;
   46         (3) To adopt a corporate seal and alter the same at
   47  pleasure.;
   48         (4) To generate, manufacture, purchase, acquire, accumulate
   49  and transmit electric energy, and to distribute, sell, supply,
   50  and dispose of electric energy in rural areas to its members, to
   51  governmental agencies and political subdivisions, and to other
   52  persons not in excess of 10 percent of the number of its
   53  members; to process, treat, sell, and dispose of water and water
   54  rights; to purchase, construct, own and operate water systems;
   55  to own and operate sanitary sewer systems; and to supply water
   56  and sanitary sewer services. However, a no cooperative may not
   57  shall distribute or sell any electricity, or electric energy to
   58  any person residing within any town, city, or area in which the
   59  person is receiving adequate central station service or who at
   60  the time of commencing such service, or offer to serve, by a
   61  cooperative, is receiving adequate central station service from
   62  any utility agency, privately or municipally owned individual
   63  partnership, or corporation.;
   64         (5) To make loans to persons to whom electric energy is or
   65  will be supplied by the cooperative for the purpose of, and
   66  otherwise to assist such person in, wiring their premises and
   67  installing therein electric and plumbing fixtures, appliances,
   68  apparatus and equipment of any and all kinds and character, and
   69  in connection therewith, to purchase, acquire, lease, sell,
   70  distribute, install and repair such electric and plumbing
   71  fixtures, appliances, apparatus and equipment, and to accept or
   72  otherwise acquire, and to sell, assign, transfer, endorse,
   73  pledge, hypothecate and otherwise dispose of notes, bonds and
   74  other evidences of indebtedness and any and all types of
   75  security therefor.;
   76         (6) To make loans to persons to whom electric energy is or
   77  will be supplied by the cooperative for the purpose of, and
   78  otherwise to assist such persons in, constructing, maintaining
   79  and operating electric refrigeration plants.;
   80         (7) To become a member in one or more other cooperatives or
   81  corporations or to own stock therein.;
   82         (8) To construct, purchase, take, receive, lease as lessee,
   83  or otherwise acquire, and to own, hold, use, equip, maintain,
   84  and operate, and to sell, assign, transfer, convey, exchange,
   85  lease as lessor, mortgage, pledge, or otherwise dispose of or
   86  encumber, electric transmission and distribution lines or
   87  systems, electric generating plants, electric refrigeration
   88  plants, lands, buildings, structures, dams, plants and
   89  equipment, and any and all kinds and classes of real or personal
   90  property whatsoever, which shall be deemed necessary, convenient
   91  or appropriate to accomplish the purpose for which the
   92  cooperative is organized.;
   93         (9) To purchase or otherwise acquire; to own, hold, use and
   94  exercise; and to sell, assign, transfer, convey, mortgage,
   95  pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise dispose of or encumber,
   96  franchises, rights, privileges, licenses, rights-of-way and
   97  easement.;
   98         (10) To borrow money and otherwise contract indebtedness;
   99  to issue notes, bonds, and other evidences of indebtedness
  100  therefor; and to secure the payment thereof by mortgage, pledge,
  101  deed of trust, or any other encumbrance upon any or all of its
  102  then owned or after-acquired real or personal property, assets,
  103  franchises, revenues or income.;
  104         (11) To construct, maintain, and operate electric
  105  transmission and distribution lines along, upon, under and
  106  across all public thoroughfares, including without limitation,
  107  all roads, highways, streets, alleys, bridges and causeways, and
  108  upon, under and across all publicly owned lands, subject,
  109  however, to the requirements in respect of the use of such
  110  thoroughfares and lands that are imposed by the respective
  111  authorities having jurisdiction thereof upon corporations
  112  constructing or operating electric transmission and distribution
  113  lines or systems.;
  114         (12) To exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner
  115  provided by the laws of this state for the exercise of that
  116  power by corporations constructing or operating electric
  117  transmission and distribution lines or systems.;
  118         (13) To engage in the provision of broadband pursuant to s.
  119  364.391.
  120         (14) To conduct its business and exercise any or all of its
  121  powers within or without this state.;
  122         (15)(14) To adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws.; and
  123         (16)(15) To do and perform any and all other acts and
  124  things, and to have and exercise any and all other powers which
  125  may be necessary, convenient or appropriate to accomplish the
  126  purpose for which the cooperative is organized.
  127         (17) To promote economic development by providing, an
  128  electric cooperative may provide any energy or nonenergy
  129  services to its membership.
  130         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.
  132  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  133  And the title is amended as follows:
  134         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  135  and insert:
  136                        A bill to be entitled                      
  137         An act relating to broadband Internet service
  138         providers; creating s. 364.391, F.S.; defining terms;
  139         specifying that the poles of rural electric
  140         cooperatives that are engaged in the provision of
  141         broadband are subject to regulation by the Public
  142         Service Commission; authorizing the commission to
  143         access the books and records of such cooperatives for
  144         specified purposes; providing that such information
  145         that contains proprietary confidential business
  146         information retains its confidential or exempt status
  147         when held by the commission; providing construction;
  148         amending s. 425.04, F.S.; authorizing rural electric
  149         cooperatives to engage in the provision of broadband;
  150         providing an effective date.