Bill Summary for S 310 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Mar 19 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 310 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 19, 2019
AN ACT REMOVING RESTRICTIONS PROHIBITING ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATIONS AND THEIR SUBSIDIARIES FROM SEEKING FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS TO PROVIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND BROADBAND SERVICES, AUTHORIZING SUCH CORPORATIONS AND THEIR WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARIES TO USE EASEMENTS HELD BY THE CORPORATIONS TO SUPPLY TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND BROADBAND SERVICES, AND PROVIDING FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH CLAIMS RELATED TO THE EXPANDED USE OF EASEMENTS BY SUCH CORPORATIONS SHALL BE RESOLVED.
Intro. by Brown, Newton, Woodard.

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Bill summary

Identical to H 387, filed 3/19/19.

Includes whereas clauses.

GS 117-18.1 allows electric membership corporations to form, organize, acquire, hold, dispose of, and operate any interest in separate business entities that provide energy services and products, telecommunications services and products, water, and wastewater collection and treatment, so long as those other business entities meet the five specified conditions. Those conditions include: (1) they are not financed with loans or grants from the Rural Utilities Service of the US Department of Agriculture or the USDA or with similar financing from any successor agency and (2) they fully compensate the electric membership corporation for the use of personnel, services, equipment, or tangible and intangible property, the greater of a competitive price or the electric membership corporation's fully distributed costs.  Amends GS 117-18.1 by exempting from these two conditions the separate business activities of an electric membership corporation that forms, organizes, acquires, holds, disposes of, or operates any interest in a separate business entity that provides or supports high-speed broadband services to one or more households, businesses, or community anchor points. 

Enacts new GS 117-28.1 allowing any easement owned, held, or otherwise used by an electric membership corporation for the purpose in GS 117-10 (allowing formation of a corporation for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the fullest possible use of electric energy in the rural section of the State by making electric energy available to inhabitants of the State at the lowest cost consistent with sound economy and prudent management of the business of such corporations) to also be used by the corporation, or its subsidiary, to supply telecommunications and broadband service. Provides that a class action may not be maintained against an electric membership corporation or its subsidiary in a suit in trespass or inverse condemnation based on a claim of expanded use of an easement. Sets out additional provisions concerning a suit in trespass or inverse condemnation based on a claim of expanded use of an easement brought by an individual property owner. Requires that a property owner's actual damages be fixed at the time of the initial trespass. Upon payment of damages, grants the corporation a permanent easement for the trespass that was the subject of the claim.

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