Requires telegraph and telephone corporations to charge religious organizations residential rates.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring telegraph and telephone corporations to offer residential rates to religious organizations
PURPOSE: To make the telephone bills of religious organizations more affordable by requiring telephone companies to offer residential rates to such organizations.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 Amends Section 92 Subdivision 3 of the Public Service law. Prohibits telephone companies from charging religious organizations rates which are greater than rates applicable to residential customers for telephone services utilized exclusively in connection with religious purposes.
EXISTING LAW: Current law allows religious organizations to be charged residential rates for gas and electric service. This provision is not applicable to telephone services.
JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, section 76 of the Public Service Law provides that religious organizations shall be subject to residential rates for gas and electric service. Such law assists religious organizations by making their gas and electric bills more affordable. This bill would provide similar assistance to religious organizations with regard to their telephone bills.
Religious organizations are not businesses and they do not make a profit. They rely primarily on donations for their expenses. It is inappropriate, therefore, that religious organizations be subject to business telephone rates. Business telephone rates generally charge customers by the number of calls and by the length of each call, a practice which may be warranted when calls are being used to derive profit or to further a business purpose. When calls are being made for religious purposes, however, lower cost residential rates should be applicable.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.3105 - Referred to Energy and Telecommunications/A.5028 Reported Referred to Ways and Means
2008: S.7250 - Referred to Energy and Telecommunications
2007-08: A.6631 Reported Referred to Ways and Means
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
This bill will take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 295 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring tele- graph and telephone corporations to offer residential rates to reli- gious organizations THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 92 of the public service law, as amended by chapter 124 of the laws of 1911, is amended to read as follows: 3.
[No](A) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, NO telegraph corporation or telephone corporation subject to the provisions of this chapter shall, directly or indirectly, give any free or reduced service, or any free pass or frank for the trans- mission of messages by either telephone or telegraph between points within this state, except to its officers, employees, agents, pension- ers, surgeons, physicians, attorneys-at-law and their families; to persons or corporations exclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosy- nary work and ministers of religions; to officers and employees of other telegraph corporations and telephone corporations, railroad corporations and street railroad corporations. But this subdivision shall not apply to state, municipal or federal contracts. (B) NO TELEGRAPH CORPORATION OR TELEPHONE CORPORATION SHALL, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, CHARGE, DEMAND, COLLECT OR RECEIVE A RATE, WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF THE APPLICABLE RESIDENTIAL RATE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF MESSAGES BY EITHER TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH BETWEEN POINTS WITHIN THE STATE, FROM ANY CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION ORGANIZED AND CONDUCTED IN GOOD FAITH FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES, INCLUDING THE OPERATION OF A SCHOOL REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SECULAR SUBJECTS ARE TAUGHT THEREIN, WHEN SUCHEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02464-01-1 S. 295 2
CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION UTILIZES SUCH SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH ITS RELIGIOUS PURPOSES. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.