Colorado Legislative Council Staff



(replaces fiscal impact dated February 16, 1999)

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0314

Sen. Feeley

Rep. McElhany


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

March 5, 1999

Senate 2nd Reading

Will Meyer (303-866-4976)



Fiscal Impact Summary

FY 1999/2000

FY 2000/2001

State Revenues

General Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund



FTE Position Change

0.0 FTE

0.0 FTE

Other State Impact: TABOR impact

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of the Legislature unless a referendum petition is filed and approved by the voters.

Appropriation Summary for FY 1999-2000: None required

Local Government Impact: None

Summary of Legislation

             The bill makes changes to the regulation of telecommunications providers by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Department of Regulatory Agencies. The bill as amended in the Senate Business Affairs and Labor Committee, makes the following changes that have fiscal impact:


                creates an expedited complaint process where one provider may file against another provider on any basis which consumers or other parties may file; and

                grants the PUC the authority to directly assess fines against telecommunications providers for a number of specified violations.

             The bill, as amended in the Senate Appropriations Committee, gives the PUC greater control over its workload by making the expedited process "upon approval of the commission" and changing the requirement that the PUC take final action to the requirement that the PUC issue a decision on a complaint not later than sixty days after its filing. These changes eliminate the expenditures identified in the previous fiscal note resulting from the expedited complaint process. It is assumed that the PUC staff will either not be a party in the hearings or can participate as a party utilizing existing staff and legal services.

State Revenues

             The bill authorizes the PUC to assess a fine of not more than $2,000 per violation against telecommunications providers that violate certain specified PUC telecommunications regulations, and a fine of not more than $10,000 per violation against telecommunications providers that violate other provisions including any interconnection service quality rules adopted by the PUC. It will also authorize the PUC to assess additional penalties for repeat violations. Any fines assessed by the PUC could be appealed to district court.

             This enforcement process replaces the current statutory process that requires the PUC to take telecommunications providers that violate any of the above PUC regulations to district court to impose fines.

             The PUC assumes that this change would provide an incentive for telecommunications providers to comply with PUC regulations, and would not result in any significant increase in revenues to the General Fund. Any changes on the amount of fine revenues would be conditional on future violations by telecommunications providers and resultant actions of the PUC. Based on the PUC's recent history of assessing penalties, it is estimated that new fine revenues would increase by $6,600 each year and be deposited to the General Fund.

State Appropriations

             This fiscal note implies that the Department of Regulatory Agencies would not require an additional cash fund appropriation out of Fixed Utilities Cash Fund for the Public Utilities Commission to implement the provisions of this bill.

Departments Contacted

             Regulatory Agencies