A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS -- CATV
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 39-19-14 of the General Laws in Chapter 39-19 entitled "Community Antenna Television Systems" is hereby amended to read as follows:
Mergers and acquisitions. -- Recovery of expenses from cable television companies. (a) The cable television company making an application or filing to the division, or subject to a division investigation, shall be charged with and shall pay the expenses reasonably so incurred by the division for the purchase of materials, and for the employment of legal counsel, official stenographers, engineers, accountants and expert witnesses and for travel, advertising expense, hearing site expense and other necessary expenses as are reasonably attributable to the investigation or the hearing of the application or filing by the division.
(b) The total amount which may be charged to any cable television company under authority of this section for proceedings before the division in any calendar year shall not exceed
ten forty thousand ($10,000) dollars ($40,000).
(c) The administrator shall ascertain the expenses and shall determine the amount to be paid by the cable television company or companies, and bills shall be rendered therefor either at the conclusion of the investigation or hearing, or from time to time during its progress, and the amount of each bill so rendered shall be paid by the cable television company to the administrator within thirty (30) days from the date of its rendition unless, within the thirty (30) day time period, the cable television company so billed shall request an opportunity to be heard by the division as to the amount thereof. The division shall comply with any such request. Any amount of the bill not paid within thirty (30) days from the date of service of the determination upon the hearing, or, if none shall be requested, within thirty (30) days from the date of rendition of the bill, shall draw interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum. At the discretion of the administrator, cable television companies may be prebilled for contractual services utilized by the division. Any revenue received but not expended upon the completion of the case will be promptly reimbursed to the cable television company.
(d) Any person or company making an application to the division for the issuance of a CATV certificate shall be charged with and pay all expenses reasonably incurred by the division in supplying materials and for the employment of legal counsel, official stenographers, engineers, accountants, and expert witnesses, and for travel and other necessary expenses as are reasonably attributable to the investigation or the hearing of the application proposal. Applicants shall pay those fees in full prior to the hearing process commencing unless the administrator agrees to an alternate payment schedule. All fees collected by the division shall be deposited with the general treasurer and appropriated to the division. The administrator is authorized and directed to draw his or her orders upon the general treasurer for payment of any sum or sums as may be necessary from time to time and upon receipt by him or her of authenticated vouchers presented by the administrator. Failure of the applicant to pay expenses lawfully assessed by the administrator shall constitute grounds for suspension of regulatory proceedings or revocation of any certificate granted, until the applicant has paid the expenses.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.