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Statutes Text

Article - State Finance and Procurement




§3A–506.

    (a)    (1)    Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the programs under § 3A–504(a) of this subtitle and §§ 3A–602(a) and 3A–702 of this title shall be funded as provided in the State budget.

        (2)    For fiscal year 2019 and each fiscal year thereafter, the program under § 3A–702 of this title shall be funded at an amount that:

            (i)    is equal to the cost that the Department of Aging is expected to incur for the upcoming fiscal year to provide the service and administer the program; and

            (ii)    does not exceed 5 cents per month for each account out of the surcharge amount authorized under subsection (c) of this section.

    (b)    (1)    There is a Universal Service Trust Fund created for the purpose of paying the costs of maintaining and operating the programs under:

            (i)    § 3A–504(a) of this subtitle, subject to the limitations and controls provided in this subtitle;

            (ii)    § 3A–602(a) of this title, subject to the limitations and controls provided in Subtitle 6 of this title; and

            (iii)    § 3A–702 of this title, subject to the limitations and controls provided in Subtitle 7 of this title.

        (2)    Money in the Universal Service Trust Fund shall be held in the State Treasury.

        (3)    Money in the Universal Service Trust Fund may only be used:

            (i)    to fund the costs of the programs specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

            (ii)    to pay for the administration of the Universal Service Trust Fund.

    (c)    (1)    The costs of the programs under § 3A–504(a) of this subtitle and §§ 3A–602(a) and 3A–702 of this title shall be funded by revenues generated by:

            (i)    a surcharge to be paid by the subscribers to a communications service; and

            (ii)    other funds as provided in the State budget.

        (2)    (i)    The surcharge may not exceed 18 cents per month for each account and shall be applied to all current bills rendered for a communications service in the State.

            (ii)    The surcharge is payable at the time the bills for a communications service are due.

        (3)    The surcharge to be collected under this section applies only to a communications service for which charges are billed by, or on behalf of, a communications company to a subscriber of the communications service.

    (d)    (1)    The Secretary shall annually certify to the Public Service Commission the costs of the programs under § 3A–504(a) of this subtitle and §§ 3A–602(a) and 3A–702 of this title to be paid by the Universal Service Trust Fund for the following fiscal year.

        (2)    (i)    The Public Service Commission shall determine the surcharge for the following fiscal year necessary to fund the programs under § 3A–504(a) of this subtitle and §§ 3A–602(a) and 3A–702 of this title.

            (ii)    1.    In accordance with subsection (c)(2) of this section and subsubparagraph 2 of this subparagraph, the Public Service Commission shall set the surcharge for the following fiscal year at an amount that is no higher than necessary to generate sufficient revenues to fund the costs of the programs for the following fiscal year, as certified under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

                2.    In setting the surcharge under subsubparagraph 1 of this subparagraph, the Public Service Commission shall take into account whether the surcharge may be adjusted as a result of any uncommitted funds in the Universal Service Trust Fund at the end of the fiscal year that may be used to fund the costs of the programs for the following fiscal year.

        (3)    The Secretary shall, on 60 days’ notice, direct the affected communications companies to add the surcharge determined by the Public Service Commission under paragraph (2) of this subsection to all current bills rendered for communications service in the State.

    (e)    (1)    The affected communications companies shall act as collection agents for the Universal Service Trust Fund and shall remit all proceeds monthly to the Comptroller for deposit to the Universal Service Trust Fund.

        (2)    The communications companies shall be entitled to credit against these proceeds in an amount equal to 1 1/2 percent of these proceeds to cover the expenses of billing, collecting, and remitting the surcharge and any additional charges.

    (f)    (1)    The Secretary shall administer the Universal Service Trust Fund.

        (2)    The income derived from investment of money in the Universal Service Trust Fund shall accrue to the Universal Service Trust Fund.

        (3)    Any funds remaining at the end of a fiscal year in the Universal Service Trust Fund shall be carried forward within the Universal Service Trust Fund for the maintenance and operation of the programs specified under subsection (b) of this section in the following fiscal year.

    (g)    (1)    The Legislative Auditor may conduct postaudits of a fiscal and compliance nature of the Universal Service Trust Fund and the expenditures made for purposes of § 3A–504(a) of this subtitle and §§ 3A–602(a) and 3A–702 of this title.

        (2)    The cost of the fiscal portion of the postaudit examination shall be paid from the Universal Service Trust Fund as an administrative cost.