Florida Senate - 2023                                     SB 626
       By Senator DiCeglie
       18-01388-23                                            2023626__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to rural electric cooperatives;
    3         amending s. 425.04, F.S.; authorizing rural electric
    4         cooperatives to provide communications services under
    5         certain circumstances for the purpose of expanding
    6         broadband Internet service to unserved areas of this
    7         state; providing an effective date.
    9  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         Section 1. Section 425.04, Florida Statutes, is amended, to
   12  read:
   13         425.04 Powers.—A cooperative shall have all of the
   14  following powers power:
   15         (1) To sue and be sued, in its corporate name.;
   16         (2) To have perpetual existence.;
   17         (3) To adopt a corporate seal and alter the same at
   18  pleasure.;
   19         (4) To generate, manufacture, purchase, acquire, accumulate
   20  and transmit electric energy, and to distribute, sell, supply,
   21  and dispose of electric energy in rural areas to its members, to
   22  governmental agencies and political subdivisions, and to other
   23  persons not in excess of 10 percent of the number of its
   24  members; to process, treat, sell, and dispose of water and water
   25  rights; to purchase, construct, own and operate water systems;
   26  to own and operate sanitary sewer systems; and to supply water
   27  and sanitary sewer services. However, a no cooperative may not
   28  shall distribute or sell any electricity, or electric energy to
   29  any person residing within any town, city or area in which the
   30  person is receiving adequate central station service or who at
   31  the time of commencing such service, or offer to serve, by a
   32  cooperative, is receiving adequate central station service from
   33  any utility agency, privately or municipally owned individual
   34  partnership or corporation.;
   35         (5) To make loans to persons to whom electric energy is or
   36  will be supplied by the cooperative for the purpose of, and
   37  otherwise to assist such person in, wiring their premises and
   38  installing therein electric and plumbing fixtures, appliances,
   39  apparatus and equipment of any and all kinds and character, and
   40  in connection therewith, to purchase, acquire, lease, sell,
   41  distribute, install and repair such electric and plumbing
   42  fixtures, appliances, apparatus and equipment, and to accept or
   43  otherwise acquire, and to sell, assign, transfer, endorse,
   44  pledge, hypothecate and otherwise dispose of notes, bonds and
   45  other evidences of indebtedness and any and all types of
   46  security therefor.;
   47         (6) To make loans to persons to whom electric energy is or
   48  will be supplied by the cooperative for the purpose of, and
   49  otherwise to assist such persons in, constructing, maintaining
   50  and operating electric refrigeration plants.;
   51         (7) To become a member in one or more other cooperatives or
   52  corporations or to own stock therein.;
   53         (8) To construct, purchase, take, receive, lease as lessee,
   54  or otherwise acquire, and to own, hold, use, equip, maintain,
   55  and operate, and to sell, assign, transfer, convey, exchange,
   56  lease as lessor, mortgage, pledge, or otherwise dispose of or
   57  encumber, electric transmission and distribution lines or
   58  systems, electric generating plants, electric refrigeration
   59  plants, lands, buildings, structures, dams, plants and
   60  equipment, and any and all kinds and classes of real or personal
   61  property whatsoever, which shall be deemed necessary, convenient
   62  or appropriate to accomplish the purpose for which the
   63  cooperative is organized.;
   64         (9) To purchase or otherwise acquire; to own, hold, use and
   65  exercise; and to sell, assign, transfer, convey, mortgage,
   66  pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise dispose of or encumber,
   67  franchises, rights, privileges, licenses, rights-of-way and
   68  easement.;
   69         (10) To borrow money and otherwise contract indebtedness;
   70  to issue notes, bonds, and other evidences of indebtedness
   71  therefor; and to secure the payment thereof by mortgage, pledge,
   72  deed of trust, or any other encumbrance upon any or all of its
   73  then owned or after-acquired real or personal property, assets,
   74  franchises, revenues or income.;
   75         (11) To construct, maintain, and operate electric
   76  transmission and distribution lines along, upon, under and
   77  across all public thoroughfares, including without limitation,
   78  all roads, highways, streets, alleys, bridges and causeways, and
   79  upon, under and across all publicly owned lands, subject,
   80  however, to the requirements in respect of the use of such
   81  thoroughfares and lands that are imposed by the respective
   82  authorities having jurisdiction thereof upon corporations
   83  constructing or operating electric transmission and distribution
   84  lines or systems.;
   85         (12) To exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner
   86  provided by the laws of this state for the exercise of that
   87  power by corporations constructing or operating electric
   88  transmission and distribution lines or systems.;
   89         (13) To provide communications services, as defined in s.
   90  350.81(1), notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the
   91  cooperative provides broadband service directly or in
   92  partnership with a third party or receives broadband grant
   93  funding pursuant to s. 288.9962 or from any other federal or
   94  state program offering grants to expand broadband Internet
   95  service to unserved areas of this state; however, all poles
   96  owned by the cooperative are subject to regulation under s.
   97  366.04(8) on the same basis as if such cooperative were a public
   98  utility.
   99         (14) To conduct its business and exercise any or all of its
  100  powers within or without this state.;
  101         (15)(14) To adopt, amend, and repeal bylaws.; and
  102         (16)(15) To do and perform any and all other acts and
  103  things, and to have and exercise any and all other powers which
  104  may be necessary, convenient or appropriate to accomplish the
  105  purpose for which the cooperative is organized.
  106         (17) To promote economic development by providing, an
  107  electric cooperative may provide any energy or nonenergy
  108  services to its membership.
  109         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.