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A06255 Summary:

BILL NOA06255A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01453-B
 
SPONSORRichardson
 
COSPNSRPeoples-Stokes, Paulin, Gottfried, Cook, Perry, Dinowitz, Colton, Lupardo, Rosenthal L, Abinanti, Bronson, Quart, Otis, Bichotte Hermelyn, Simon, Seawright, Carroll, Niou, Griffin, Frontus, Fall, Reyes, Stern, Jacobson, Clark, Anderson, Jean-Pierre, Barron, Kelles, Meeks, Rozic
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §§32, 89-b, 89-l, 91 & 216, Pub Serv L; amd §5, Chap 108 of 2020; add §399-zzzzz, Gen Bus L
 
Relates to extending a moratorium on utility termination of services after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or expires for a period of 180 days after such expiration or until December 31, 2021 whichever is later.
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A06255 Actions:

BILL NOA06255A
 
03/11/2021referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
03/16/2021reported referred to codes
03/24/2021reported referred to ways and means
03/24/2021reported referred to rules
03/25/2021amend (t) and recommit to rules
03/25/2021print number 6255a
03/30/2021reported
03/30/2021rules report cal.47
03/30/2021ordered to third reading rules cal.47
03/31/2021substituted by s1453b
 S01453 AMEND=B PARKER
 01/12/2021REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
 01/19/20211ST REPORT CAL.116
 01/20/20212ND REPORT CAL.
 01/25/2021ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
 01/26/2021AMENDED ON THIRD READING 1453A
 02/23/2021PASSED SENATE
 02/23/2021DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
 02/23/2021referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
 03/25/2021RECALLED FROM ASSEMBLY
 03/25/2021returned to senate
 03/25/2021VOTE RECONSIDERED - RESTORED TO THIRD READING
 03/25/2021AMENDED ON THIRD READING (T) 1453B
 03/30/2021REPASSED SENATE
 03/30/2021RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY
 03/30/2021referred to ways and means
 03/31/2021substituted for a6255a
 03/31/2021ordered to third reading rules cal.47
 03/31/2021passed assembly
 03/31/2021returned to senate
 04/29/2021DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
 05/11/2021SIGNED CHAP.106
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A06255 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A6255A
 
SPONSOR: Richardson
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, amending the public service law relating to issuing a moratorium on utility termination of services during periods of pandemics and/or state of emergencies, in relation to extending the effectiveness thereof; to amend the public service law and the general business law, in relation to issuing a mora- torium on utility termination of services; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would continue and expand the existing moratorium on utility corporations, municipalities, telephone corporations, cable companies, broadband providers, and water authorities terminating or disconnecting the services of residential customer, now adding certain small business customers, for the non-payment of overdue charges during the ongoing COVID19 state of emergency, until a certain date when such moratorium shall expire.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the sunset clause added to chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, which is the enabling legislation for the COVID-19 utility shut- off moratorium, to cause all parts of the moratorium to expire on July 1, 2022. Sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 amend various sections of the Public Service Law in relation to the present moratorium to: 1) make the existing shut-off moratorium applicable to certain small business customers with 25 of fewer employees; 2) prohibit down payments, late fees, or penalties applicable to all arrears incurred during the duration of the utility shut-off moratorium; 3) provide that protections from shut offs for nonpayment of a charge will expire on either 12/31/21 or when the state of emergency is lifted, whichever is earlier, provided that those who owe arrears or have defaulted on a deferred payment agreement, and have suffered a change in financial circumstances due to the state of 1. emergency, are further protected for an additional 180 days after the aforementioned deadline. 4) include customers of water authorities for the purposes of the current utility shut-off moratorium; 5) include nonresidential customers who serve residential accounts as protected in the moratorium regarding service terminations by munici- palities providing water service. 6) prohibit a municipal water lien on real property from being attached, sold or enforced for the nonpayment of a charge or tax for the duration of the moratorium, and requires 30-days notice to the customer prior to sale or attachment after the moratorium is lifted or expires. 7) require municipalities providing water service to include a statement of a customer's rights under the moratorium in every customer billing statement. 8) require deferred payment agreements for broadband, cable, telephone and water service meet the same standards as required in the Home Energy Fair Practices Act. 9) subject private and municipal-owned water utilities to the jurisdic- tion of the Public Service Commission for the purposes of enforcing the utility shut-off moratoriums; and 10) subject any services offered over a telephone corporation's infrastructure to the effects of the utility shut-off moratorium. Section 6. Amends the Public Service Law to provide that no cable tele- vision company shall terminate or disconnect services provided over their infrastructure to a residential or small business customer for the non-payment of an overdue charge for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency. The same relevant provisions outlined in sections 2-5 in relation to utility shut-off moratoriums apply to cable television companies. However, a cable company will not be required to reconnect any customers who had their service terminated prior to the effective date of this act. Section 7. The General Business Law is amended to prohibit broadband service providers from terminating or disconnecting services provided over their infrastructure to a residential or small business customer for the non-payment of an overdue charge for the duration of the COVID- 19 state of emergency. The same relevant provisions outlined in sections 2-5 in relation to utility shut-off moratoriums apply to broadband service providers. However, a broadband provider will not be required to reconnect any customers who had their service terminated prior to the effective date of this act Section 8. A severability clause is added to the Act. Section 9. The effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): No longer applicable to certain state disaster emergencies declared in response to a state, national, or global event that is deemed to have a significant negative and long-term impact on the state's economic future, and not due to a short-term weather-related disaster emergency. Increases protections for customers of municipal water utilities. Enhances ability of the Department of Public Service to enforce the moratorium against certain utilities.   JUSTIFICATION: More than a year out from the declaration of the COVID-19 state of emer- gency here in New York, many New Yorkers are still unable to either work or earn a sufficient wage because of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions on public and private businesses. As such, maintaining the existing utility-shut off mortarium is essential. This bill incorporates into the existing utility shut-off many lessons we learned during the preceding year, such as the importance of broadband and cable service during a pandemic and the need to provide relief to small businesses, and would ensure that no New Yorker would be in jeopardy of losing essential utility, water, telephone, or broadband service during a time when health and safety are still of the upmost concern.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that this act shall expire and be deemed repealed on the same date and in the same manner as chapter 108 of the laws of 2020.
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A06255 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         6255--A
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     March 11, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. RICHARDSON, PEOPLES-STOKES, PAULIN, GOTTFRIED,
          COOK, PERRY, DINOWITZ, COLTON, LUPARDO, L. ROSENTHAL, ABINANTI,  BRON-
          SON,  QUART, OTIS, BICHOTTE HERMELYN, SIMON, SEAWRIGHT, CARROLL, NIOU,
          GRIFFIN, FRONTUS, FALL, REYES, STERN, JACOBSON, CLARK -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
          -- reported and referred to the Committee on  Codes  --  reported  and
          referred  to  the Committee on Ways and Means -- reported and referred
          to the Committee on Rules -- Rules Committee discharged, bill amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to the Committee on Rules
 
        AN ACT to amend chapter 108 of the laws of  2020,  amending  the  public
          service law relating to issuing a moratorium on utility termination of
          services  during  periods of pandemics and/or state of emergencies, in
          relation to extending the effectiveness thereof; to amend  the  public
          service  law  and  the  general business law, in relation to issuing a
          moratorium on utility termination of services; and providing  for  the
          repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 5 of chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, amending  the
     2  public  service  law  relating to issuing a moratorium on utility termi-
     3  nation of services during periods of pandemics and/or state of  emergen-
     4  cies,  as  amended  by section 2 of part B of chapter 126 of the laws of
     5  2020, is amended to read as follows:
     6    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  expire  [March
     7  31,  2021]  July  1, 2022 when upon such date the provisions of this act
     8  shall be deemed repealed.
     9    § 2. Subdivisions 6, 7, 8 and 9 of section 32 of  the  public  service
    10  law,  subdivision  6  as amended and subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 as added by
    11  chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, are amended to read as follows:
    12    6. No utility corporation or municipality shall terminate  or  discon-
    13  nect  services  to any residential customer or a small business customer
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10211-04-1

        A. 6255--A                          2
 
     1  with twenty-five or fewer employees that is  not  a  (a)  publicly  held
     2  company, or a subsidiary thereof, (b) seasonal, short-term, or temporary
     3  customer, (c)  high energy customer as defined by the commission, or (d)
     4  customer  that  the utility can demonstrate has the resources to pay the
     5  bill, provided that the utility notifies the small business customer  of
     6  its  reasons  and  of the customer's right to contest this determination
     7  through the commission's complaint procedures, for the non-payment of an
     8  overdue charge for the duration of the state disaster emergency declared
     9  pursuant to executive order two  hundred  two  of  two  thousand  twenty
    10  (hereinafter "the COVID-19 state of emergency").
    11    Utility  corporations  and municipalities shall have a duty to restore
    12  service, to the extent not already required under this chapter,  to  any
    13  residential  or small business customer within forty-eight hours if such
    14  service has been terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of
    15  emergency.
    16    7. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either  the  COVID-19
    17  state  of  emergency  is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two
    18  thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier,  no  utility  corporation  or
    19  municipality  shall terminate or disconnect the service of a residential
    20  or small business customer because of defaulted deferred payment  agree-
    21  ments  or  arrears  owed to the utility corporation or municipality when
    22  such customer has experienced a change in financial circumstances due to
    23  the COVID-19 state of emergency, as defined by the department. The util-
    24  ity corporation or municipality shall provide such residential or  small
    25  business  customer  with  the  right  to  enter  into, or restructure, a
    26  deferred payment agreement without the requirement of  a  down  payment,
    27  late  fees,  or  penalties, as such is provided for in this article with
    28  such prohibition on down payments, late fees, or penalties applicable to
    29  all arrears incurred during the duration of the COVID-19 state of  emer-
    30  gency.
    31    8.  Every  utility corporation or municipality shall provide notice to
    32  residential and small business customers, in a writing  to  be  included
    33  with  a bill statement or, when appropriate, via electronic transmission
    34  the provisions of this section and shall further make reasonable efforts
    35  to contact customers who have demonstrated a change in financial circum-
    36  stances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offer-
    37  ing such customers a deferred  payment  agreement  consistent  with  the
    38  provisions of this article.
    39    9. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit
    40  a  utility  or  municipality  from  recovering lost or deferred revenues
    41  after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of emergen-
    42  cy or December  thirty-first,  two  thousand  twenty-one,  whichever  is
    43  earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this
    44  chapter,  and  by  means  not inconsistent with any of the provisions of
    45  this article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit  a  utility  corpo-
    46  ration  or  municipality from disconnecting service necessary to protect
    47  the health and safety of customers and the public.
    48    § 3. Subdivisions 8, 9, 10 and  11  of  section  89-b  of  the  public
    49  service  law,  as  added by chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, are amended
    50  and a new subdivision 12 is added to read as follows:
    51    8. No water-works corporation shall terminate or disconnect the supply
    52  of water to residential accounts or the  account  of  a  small  business
    53  customer  with twenty-five or fewer employees that is not a (a) publicly
    54  held company, or a subsidiary  thereof,  (b)  seasonal,  short-term,  or
    55  temporary  customer,  (c) high energy customer as defined by the commis-
    56  sion, or (d) customer that the utility can demonstrate has the resources

        A. 6255--A                          3
 
     1  to pay the bill, provided that the utility notifies the  small  business
     2  customer  of  its  reasons  and  of the customer's right to contest this
     3  determination through the commission's  complaint  procedures,  for  the
     4  non-payment  of  water  rents,  rates or charges for the duration of the
     5  state disaster  emergency  declared  pursuant  to  executive  order  two
     6  hundred  two  of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the COVID-19 state of
     7  emergency"). Water-works corporations  shall  have  a  duty  to  restore
     8  service,  to  the extent not already required under this chapter, to any
     9  residential or small business customer within forty-eight hours if  such
    10  service has been terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of
    11  emergency.
    12    9.  For  a period of one hundred eighty days after either the COVID-19
    13  state of emergency is lifted or expires or  December  thirty-first,  two
    14  thousand  twenty-one,  whichever  is earlier, no water-works corporation
    15  shall terminate or disconnect the service  of  a  residential  or  small
    16  business  customer  account because of defaulted deferred payment agree-
    17  ments or arrears owed to the water-works corporation when such  customer
    18  has  experienced a change in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19
    19  state of emergency as defined by the department. The water-works  corpo-
    20  ration  shall  provide  such residential or small business customer with
    21  the right to enter into, or restructure, a  deferred  payment  agreement
    22  without  the  requirement of a down payment, late fees, or penalties, as
    23  such is provided for in article two of this chapter.
    24    10. Every water-works corporation shall provide notice to  residential
    25  and  small  business  customers, in a writing to be included with a bill
    26  statement  or,  when  appropriate,  via  electronic  transmission,   the
    27  provisions  of this section and shall further make reasonable efforts to
    28  contact customers who have demonstrated a change  in  financial  circum-
    29  stances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offer-
    30  ing  such  customers  a  deferred  payment agreement consistent with the
    31  provisions of this section and article two of this chapter.
    32    11. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohib-
    33  it a water-works corporation from recovering lost or  deferred  revenues
    34  after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of emergen-
    35  cy  or  December  thirty-first,  two  thousand  twenty-one, whichever is
    36  earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this
    37  chapter, and by means not inconsistent with any  of  the  provisions  of
    38  this  article.  Nothing  in  this  section  shall prohibit a water-works
    39  corporation from disconnecting service when it is necessary  to  protect
    40  the health and safety of customers and the public.
    41    12.  The public service commission shall have the authority to adjudi-
    42  cate complaints and conduct investigations for violation of this section
    43  in the manner provided by the provisions of this article and shall  have
    44  the  authority  to  enforce the provisions of this section in accordance
    45  with section twenty-six of this chapter.
    46    § 4. Subdivisions 3, 4 and 5 of section 89-l  of  the  public  service
    47  law,  as  added  by chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, are amended and two
    48  new subdivisions 4-a and 5-a are added to read as follows:
    49    3.  No  municipality  shall  terminate  or  discontinue  [residential]
    50  service  to, or place, sell or enforce any lien on the real property of,
    51  a residential customer, a non-residential customer whose account  serves
    52  residential  premises,  or  a  small  business with twenty-five or fewer
    53  employees that is not a (a) publicly held company, or a subsidiary ther-
    54  eof, (b) seasonal, short-term, or temporary  customer,  (c)  high  usage
    55  customer  as defined by the commission, or (d) customer that the utility
    56  can demonstrate has the resources to pay the  bill,  provided  that  the

        A. 6255--A                          4
 
     1  utility  notifies  the small business customer of its reasons and of the
     2  customer's right to contest this determination through the  commission's
     3  complaint  procedures,  for the nonpayment of bills, taxes, or fees, and
     4  no  bills,  taxes,  or  fees  charged  to such customers shall otherwise
     5  become a lien on real property, for the duration of the  state  disaster
     6  emergency  declared  pursuant  to executive order two hundred two of two
     7  thousand twenty (hereinafter the "COVID-19 state of  emergency")  or  at
     8  any  time  when a customer is in compliance with the terms of a deferred
     9  payment agreement entered into pursuant  to  subdivision  four  of  this
    10  section.  Every municipality shall have a duty to restore service to any
    11  residential  customer,  non-residential  customer  whose  account serves
    12  residential premises, or  small  business  customer  within  forty-eight
    13  hours of the effective date of this subdivision if such service has been
    14  terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    15    4.  For  a period of one hundred eighty days after either the COVID-19
    16  state of emergency is lifted or expires or  December  thirty-first,  two
    17  thousand  twenty-one, whichever is earlier, no municipality shall termi-
    18  nate or discontinue the service of, or place, sell or enforce  any  lien
    19  on  the  real  property  of,  a  residential customer, a non-residential
    20  customer whose account serves residential  premises  or  small  business
    21  customer  because  of  bill  arrears, taxes, or fees owed to the munici-
    22  pality when such customer has experienced a change in financial  circum-
    23  stances  due  to  the  COVID-19  state  of  emergency, as defined by the
    24  department.  The municipality shall provide a residential   customer,  a
    25  non-residential  customer  whose account serves residential premises, or
    26  small business service customer that has experienced a change in  finan-
    27  cial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency with the right
    28  to  enter into, or restructure, a deferred payment agreement without the
    29  requirement of a down payment, late  fees,  or  penalties,  as  such  is
    30  provided for in article two of this chapter.  The duration of a deferred
    31  payment agreement entered into or restructured pursuant to this subdivi-
    32  sion  shall be determined as such is provided for in article two of this
    33  chapter and shall not be limited to the period described  in  the  first
    34  sentence  of this subdivision. A deferred payment agreement entered into
    35  or restructured pursuant to this subdivision shall remain subject to the
    36  provisions of article two of this chapter until the termination  of  the
    37  agreement as such is provided in article two of this chapter.
    38    4-a.  No  municipality  shall  terminate or discontinue service to, or
    39  place, sell or enforce any lien on the real property of any  residential
    40  customer, non-residential customer which serves residential premises, or
    41  a  small business customer for the nonpayment of bill arrears, taxes, or
    42  fees after either the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted  or  expires
    43  or December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier,
    44  unless at least thirty days previously it sent to that customer a notice
    45  of  its  intention  to do so together with a notice of rights under this
    46  section in the form set forth in subdivision five of this section
    47    5. Every municipality shall provide notice, in the same frequency that
    48  the customer receives a regular bill, to residential customers,  non-re-
    49  sidential customers whose accounts serve residential premises, and small
    50  business customers in a writing to be included with a bill statement or,
    51  when  appropriate,  via  electronic  transmission the provisions of this
    52  section and shall further make reasonable efforts to  contact  customers
    53  who  have  demonstrated  a  change in financial circumstances due to the
    54  COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offering such customers a
    55  deferred payment  agreement  consistent  with  the  provisions  of  this
    56  section and article two of this chapter.

        A. 6255--A                          5
 
     1    5-a.  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of  subdivision  one  of  this
     2  section, for the purposes of subdivisions three, four, five and  six  of
     3  this section, a "municipality" shall also include a public water author-
     4  ity  established pursuant to article five of the public authorities law.
     5  Every  municipality  shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the commis-
     6  sion for the purposes of enforcing the provisions of subdivisions three,
     7  four, four-a, five, five-a and six of this section pursuant to  sections
     8  twenty-four, twenty-five and twenty-six of this chapter.
     9    § 5. Subdivisions 9, 10, 11 and 12 of section 91 of the public service
    10  law,  subdivisions  9,  10  and  12 as amended by section 1 of part B of
    11  chapter 126 of the laws of 2020, subdivision 11 as added by chapter  108
    12  of the laws of 2020, are amended to read as follows:
    13    9. No telephone corporation shall terminate or disconnect any services
    14  provided  by  its  infrastructure to a residential service customer or a
    15  small business customer with twenty-five or fewer employees that is  not
    16  a  (a)    publicly  held company, or a subsidiary thereof, (b) seasonal,
    17  short-term, or temporary customer, (c)  high usage customer  as  defined
    18  by the commission, or (d)  customer that the utility can demonstrate has
    19  the  resources  to  pay the bill, provided that the utility notifies the
    20  small business customer of its reasons and of the  customer's  right  to
    21  contest  this  determination  through  the commission's complaint proce-
    22  dures, for the non-payment of an overdue charge for the duration of  the
    23  state  disaster  emergency  declared  pursuant  to  executive  order two
    24  hundred two of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the COVID-19  state  of
    25  emergency").    Telephone  corporations  shall  have  a  duty to restore
    26  service, to the extent not already required under this chapter,  at  the
    27  request of any residential or small business customer within forty-eight
    28  hours  if  such  service  has been terminated during the pendency of the
    29  COVID-19 state of emergency and disconnection of such service was due to
    30  non-payment of an overdue charge.
    31    10. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either the  COVID-19
    32  state  of  emergency  is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two
    33  thousand twenty-one, whichever  is  earlier,  no  telephone  corporation
    34  shall terminate or disconnect [the service] any services provided by its
    35  infrastructure  of  a  residential  or  small  business customer account
    36  because of defaulted deferred payment agreements or arrears then owed to
    37  the telephone corporation when such customer has experienced a change in
    38  financial circumstances due to  the  COVID-19  state  of  emergency,  as
    39  defined by the department.  The telephone corporation shall provide such
    40  residential  or small business customer with the right to enter into, or
    41  restructure, a deferred payment agreement without the requirement  of  a
    42  down  payment,  late  fees,  or penalties, with such prohibition on down
    43  payments, late fees, or penalties applicable  to  all  arrears  incurred
    44  during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    45    11.  Every  telephone  corporation shall provide notice to residential
    46  customers and small business customers, in a writing to be included with
    47  a bill statement or, when appropriate, via electronic  transmission  the
    48  provisions  of this section and shall further make reasonable efforts to
    49  contact customers who have demonstrated a change  in  financial  circum-
    50  stances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offer-
    51  ing  such  customers  a  deferred  payment agreement consistent with the
    52  provisions of this section and article two of this chapter.
    53    12. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohib-
    54  it a telephone corporation from recovering  lost  or  deferred  revenues
    55  after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of emergen-
    56  cy  or  December  thirty-first,  two  thousand  twenty-one, whichever is

        A. 6255--A                          6
 
     1  earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this
     2  chapter, and by means not inconsistent with any  of  the  provisions  of
     3  this  article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a telephone corpo-
     4  ration from disconnecting service at the request of a customer.  Nothing
     5  in  this section shall prohibit a telephone corporation from disconnect-
     6  ing service when it is necessary to protect the  health  and  safety  of
     7  customers and the public.
     8    §  6.  Section 216 of the public service law is amended by adding five
     9  new subdivisions 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 to read as follows:
    10    6. No cable television company shall terminate or disconnect  services
    11  provided  over their infrastructure to a residential service customer or
    12  a small business customer with twenty-five or fewer  employees  that  is
    13  not  a (a) publicly held company, or a subsidiary thereof, (b) seasonal,
    14  short-term, or temporary customer, or (c) customer that the cable  tele-
    15  vision  company  can  demonstrate  has  the  resources  to pay the bill,
    16  provided that the cable television company notifies the  small  business
    17  customer  of  its  reasons  and  of the customer's right to contest this
    18  determination through the commission's  complaint  procedures,  for  the
    19  non-payment  of  an  overdue charge for the duration of a state disaster
    20  emergency declared pursuant to executive order two hundred  two  of  two
    21  thousand  twenty (hereinafter "the COVID-19 state of emergency").  Cable
    22  television companies shall have a duty to restore service, to the extent
    23  not already required under this chapter, at the request of any  residen-
    24  tial or small business customer within forty-eight hours if such service
    25  has  been  terminated during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emer-
    26  gency and disconnection of such service was due  to  non-payment  of  an
    27  overdue charge, provided, however, that cable television companies shall
    28  not  be required to restore service to any residential or small business
    29  customer if such service had been terminated prior to the effective date
    30  of this subdivision.
    31    7. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either  the  COVID-19
    32  state  of  emergency  is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two
    33  thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier, no cable  television  company
    34  shall  terminate  or disconnect services provided over their infrastruc-
    35  ture to a residential or small  business  customer  account  because  of
    36  defaulted  deferred payment agreements or arrears then owed to the cable
    37  television company when such customer has experienced a change in finan-
    38  cial circumstances, as defined by the department, due  to  the  COVID-19
    39  state  of  emergency.    The cable television company shall provide such
    40  residential or small business customer with the right to enter into,  or
    41  restructure,  a  deferred payment agreement without the requirement of a
    42  down payment, late fees, or penalties, with  such  prohibition  on  down
    43  payments,  late  fees,  or  penalties applicable to all arrears incurred
    44  during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    45    8. Every cable television company shall provide notice to  residential
    46  or  small  business  customers  in  a writing to be included with a bill
    47  statement or, when  appropriate,  via  electronic  transmission  of  the
    48  provisions  of this section and shall further make reasonable efforts to
    49  contact customers who have demonstrated a change  in  financial  circum-
    50  stances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for the purpose of offer-
    51  ing  such  customers  a  deferred  payment agreement consistent with the
    52  provisions of this section and article two of this chapter.
    53    9. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit
    54  a cable television company from recovering  lost  or  deferred  revenues
    55  after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19 state of emergen-
    56  cy  or  December  thirty-first,  two  thousand  twenty-one, whichever is

        A. 6255--A                          7
 
     1  earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery as are provided for in this
     2  chapter, and by means not inconsistent with any  of  the  provisions  of
     3  this  article. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a cable television
     4  company from disconnecting service at the request of a customer. Nothing
     5  in  this  section shall prohibit a cable television company from discon-
     6  necting service when it is necessary to protect the health and safety of
     7  customers and the public.
     8    10. Every cable television company shall be subject to  the  jurisdic-
     9  tion  of  the commission for the purposes of enforcing the provisions of
    10  subdivisions six, seven, eight and nine  of  this  section  pursuant  to
    11  sections  twenty-four,  twenty-five  and twenty-six of this chapter, and
    12  any other applicable provision of this chapter.
    13    § 7. The general business law is amended by adding a new section  399-
    14  zzzzz to read as follows:
    15    §  399-zzzzz. Prohibition of certain broadband terminations or discon-
    16  nections. 1. For the purposes  of  this  section,  the  term  "broadband
    17  service" shall mean a mass-market retail service that provides the capa-
    18  bility  to  transmit  data to and receive data from all or substantially
    19  all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that  are  incidental
    20  to  and  enable  the  operation of the communications service, and shall
    21  include service provided by commercial mobile telephone service  provid-
    22  ers, but shall not include dial-up service.
    23    2.  No  person,  business,  corporation,  or their agents providing or
    24  seeking to provide broadband service in New York state  shall  terminate
    25  or  disconnect services provided over their infrastructure to a residen-
    26  tial service customer or a small business customer with  twenty-five  or
    27  fewer employees that is not a (i) publicly held company, or a subsidiary
    28  thereof,  (ii)  seasonal,  short-term,  or  temporary customer, or (iii)
    29  customer that the broadband service provider  can  demonstrate  has  the
    30  resources  to pay the bill, provided that the broadband service provider
    31  notifies the small business customer of its reasons and of  the  custom-
    32  er's  right  to  contest  this  determination  through  the commission's
    33  complaint procedures, for the non-payment of an overdue charge  for  the
    34  duration  of the state disaster emergency declared pursuant to executive
    35  order two hundred two of two thousand twenty (hereinafter "the  COVID-19
    36  state  of  emergency").    Such persons or entities shall have a duty to
    37  restore service, to the extent not already required, at the  request  of
    38  any  residential  or small business customer within forty-eight hours if
    39  such service has been terminated during the  pendency  of  the  COVID-19
    40  state of emergency and disconnection of such service was due to non-pay-
    41  ment of an overdue charge, provided, however, that such persons or enti-
    42  ties  shall  not  be  required  to restore service to any residential or
    43  small business customer if such service had been terminated prior to the
    44  effective date of this section.
    45    3. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either  the  COVID-19
    46  state  of  emergency  is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two
    47  thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier, no person,  business,  corpo-
    48  ration,  or  their  agents  providing  or  seeking  to provide broadband
    49  service in  New  York  state  shall  terminate  or  disconnect  services
    50  provided  over  their  infrastructure to a residential or small business
    51  customer account because of defaulted  deferred  payment  agreements  or
    52  arrears  then  owed  to  such persons or entities when such customer has
    53  experienced a change in  financial  circumstances,  as  defined  by  the
    54  department of public service due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The
    55  person,  business,  corporation, or their agents providing or seeking to
    56  provide broadband service in New York state shall provide such  residen-

        A. 6255--A                          8
 
     1  tial  or  small  business  customer  with  the  right  to enter into, or
     2  restructure, a deferred payment agreement consistent with the provisions
     3  of article two of the public service law without the  requirement  of  a
     4  down  payment,  late  fees,  or penalties, with such prohibition on down
     5  payments, late fees, or penalties applicable  to  all  arrears  incurred
     6  during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
     7    4.  Every  person, business, corporation, or their agents providing or
     8  seeking to provide broadband service in New  York  state  shall  provide
     9  notice  to  residential  or  small business customers in a writing to be
    10  included with a bill statement  or,  when  appropriate,  via  electronic
    11  transmission  of  the  provisions of this section and shall further make
    12  reasonable efforts to contact customers who have demonstrated  a  change
    13  in  financial  circumstances  due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for
    14  the purpose of offering such  customers  a  deferred  payment  agreement
    15  consistent with the provisions of article two of the public service law.
    16    5. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit
    17  a person, business, corporation, or their agents providing or seeking to
    18  provide  broadband  service  in  New  York state from recovering lost or
    19  deferred revenues after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19
    20  state of emergency or December thirty-first,  two  thousand  twenty-one,
    21  whichever  is  earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery by means not
    22  inconsistent with any of the provisions of this section. Nothing in this
    23  section shall prohibit a person, business, corporation, or their  agents
    24  providing or seeking to provide broadband service in New York state from
    25  disconnecting  service  at  the  request  of a customer. Nothing in this
    26  section shall prohibit a person, business, corporation, or their  agents
    27  providing or seeking to provide broadband service in New York state from
    28  disconnecting  service  when  it  is necessary to protect the health and
    29  safety of customers and the public.
    30    6. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an application
    31  may be made by the attorney general in the name of  the  people  of  the
    32  state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special
    33  proceeding  to  issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of
    34  not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of  such
    35  violation;  and  if  it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or
    36  justice that the defendant has,  in  fact,  violated  this  section,  an
    37  injunction  may  be  issued  by  the  court  or  justice,  enjoining and
    38  restraining any further violations, without  requiring  proof  that  any
    39  person  has,  in  fact,  been  injured  or  damaged thereby. In any such
    40  proceeding, the court may make allowances to  the  attorney  general  as
    41  provided  in  paragraph  six  of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three
    42  hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and  direct  restitu-
    43  tion.  Whenever  the  court  shall  determine  that  a violation of this
    44  section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of  not  more
    45  than  one  thousand  dollars  per violation. In connection with any such
    46  proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to  take  proof
    47  and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in
    48  accordance with the civil practice law and rules.
    49    § 8. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    50  sion,  section  or subpart of this act shall be adjudged by any court of
    51  competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
    52  impair,  or  invalidate  the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
    53  its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section
    54  or  subpart  thereof  directly involved in the controversy in which such
    55  judgment shall have been rendered. It  is  hereby  declared  to  be  the

        A. 6255--A                          9
 
     1  intent  of the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if
     2  such invalid provisions had not been included herein.
     3    §  9.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
     4  sections six and seven of this act shall expire and be  deemed  repealed
     5  on  the  same  date and in the same manner as chapter 108 of the laws of
     6  2020; and provided that:
     7    (a) the amendments to subdivisions 7, 8, and 9 of section  32  of  the
     8  public  service law made by section two of this act shall not affect the
     9  repeal of such subdivisions and shall be deemed repealed therewith;
    10    (b) the amendments to subdivision  6  of  section  32  of  the  public
    11  service law made by section two of this act shall not affect the expira-
    12  tion of such subdivision and shall be deemed to expire therewith;
    13    (c)  the amendments to subdivisions 8, 9, 10 and 11 of section 89-b of
    14  the public service law made by section  three  of  this  act  shall  not
    15  affect  the  repeal  of  such  subdivisions and shall be deemed repealed
    16  therewith;
    17    (d) subdivision 12 of section 89-b of the public service law as  added
    18  by  section  three of this act shall be repealed on the same date and in
    19  the same manner as chapter 108 of the laws of 2020, as amended;
    20    (e) the amendments to subdivisions 3, 4 and 5 of section 89-l  of  the
    21  public service law made by section four of this act shall not affect the
    22  repeal of such subdivisions and shall be deemed repealed therewith;
    23    (f) subdivisions 4-a and 5-a of section 89-l of the public service law
    24  as  added by section four of this act shall be repealed on the same date
    25  and in the same manner as chapter 108 of the laws of 2020,  as  amended;
    26  and
    27    (g)  the  amendments to subdivisions 9, 10, 11 and 12 of section 91 of
    28  the public service law made by section five of this act shall not affect
    29  the repeal of such subdivisions and shall be deemed repealed therewith.
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