An Act To Encourage the Development of Broadband Coverage in Rural Maine
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §12004-G, sub-§33-F, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 665, §1, is amended to read:
|Technology||ConnectME ConnectMaine Authority||Not Authorized||35-A MRSA §9203|
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §12021, sub-§6, ¶B, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 616, Pt. A, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 30-A MRSA §5225, sub-§1, ¶C, as amended by PL 2019, c. 260, §1, is further amended by amending subparagraph (9) to read:
(1) Costs of funding economic development programs or events developed by the municipality or plantation or funding the marketing of the municipality or plantation as a business or arts location;
(2) Costs of funding environmental improvement projects developed by the municipality or plantation for commercial or arts district use or related to such activities;
(3) Funding to establish permanent economic development revolving loan funds, investment funds and grants;
(4) Costs of services and equipment to provide skills development and training, including scholarships to in-state educational institutions or to online learning entities when in-state options are not available, for jobs created or retained in the municipality or plantation. These costs must be designated as training funds in the development program;
(5) Quality child care costs, including finance costs and construction, staffing, training, certification and accreditation costs related to child care;
(6) Costs associated with new or existing recreational trails determined by the department to have significant potential to promote economic development, including, but not limited to, costs for multiple projects and project phases that may include planning, design, construction, maintenance, grooming and improvements with respect to new or existing recreational trails, which may include bridges that are part of the trail corridor, used all or in part for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing or other related multiple uses;
(7) Costs associated with a new or expanded transit service, limited to:
(a) Transit service capital costs, including but not limited to: transit vehicles such as buses, ferries, vans, rail conveyances and related equipment; bus shelters and other transit-related structures; and benches, signs and other transit-related infrastructure; and
(b) In the case of transit-oriented development districts, ongoing costs of adding to an existing transit system or creating a new transit service and limited strictly to transit operator salaries, transit vehicle fuel and transit vehicle parts replacements;
(8) Costs associated with the development of fisheries and wildlife or marine resources projects; and
(9) Costs associated with broadband and fiber optics expansion projects, including preparation, planning, engineering and other related costs in addition to the construction costs of those projects. If an area within a municipality or plantation is unserved with respect to broadband service, as defined by the ConnectME ConnectMaine Authority as provided in Title 35-A, section 9204-A, subsection 1, broadband and fiber optics expansion projects may serve residential or other nonbusiness or noncommercial areas in addition to business or commercial areas within the municipality or plantation; and
Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA §2503, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2017, c. 344, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 35-A MRSA §7104-B, sub-§5, ¶I, as enacted by PL 2019, c. 52, §4, is amended to read:
Sec. 6. 35-A MRSA §9202, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 665, §3, is amended to read:
Sec. 7. 35-A MRSA §9203, as amended by PL 2019, c. 343, Pt. QQ, §2, is further amended to read:
§ 9203. ConnectME ConnectMaine Authority
Compensation of members is as provided in Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 33-F.
Sec. 8. 35-A MRSA §9204-A, sub-§7, as enacted by PL 2015, c. 284, §7, is amended to read:
Sec. 9. 35-A MRSA §9207, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 665, §3, is amended to read:
§ 9207. Collection of data
Subject to the provisions in this section, the authority may shall collect data annually from communications service providers and any wireless provider providers that own or operate advanced communications technology infrastructure in the State data concerning infrastructure deployment and costs, revenues and subscribership for the purpose of developing mapping information to assist the authority in implementing the provisions of section 9202-A; pricing data for advertised retail pricing for broadband services offered in the State; and revenue data for the purpose of assessing communications service providers subject to section 9211. The authority shall permit providers that have provided data to the authority at a level of detail that the authority has determined acceptable to continue to provide the data in the same format. For mapping data, the authority, whenever possible, shall use data formats consistent with data formats used for mapping at the federal level.
Information designated as confidential under this subsection is not a public record under Title 1, section 402, subsection 3.
Sec. 10. 35-A MRSA §9208, sub-§3, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 665, §3, is amended to read:
Sec. 11. 35-A MRSA §9211, as amended by PL 2019, c. 343, Pt. SSSS, §§3 and 4, is further amended to read:
§ 9211. ConnectME ConnectMaine Fund
Sec. 12. 35-A MRSA §9216, as amended by PL 2015, c. 151, §§1 and 2 and c. 284, §10, is repealed.
Sec. 13. 35-A MRSA §9217, sub-§1, as enacted by PL 2015, c. 284, §11, is amended to read:
The authority shall make all plans developed using grant funds under this section available on the authority's publicly accessible website.
Sec. 14. Transition provisions. The following provisions govern the transition of the ConnectME Authority to the ConnectMaine Authority.
1. The ConnectMaine Authority is the successor in every way to the powers, duties and functions of the former ConnectME Authority.
2. All existing rules, regulations and procedures in effect, in operation or adopted in or by the ConnectME Authority or any of its administrative units or officers are hereby declared in effect and continue in effect until rescinded, revised or amended by the proper authority.
3. All existing contracts, agreements and compacts currently in effect in the ConnectME Authority continue in effect.
4. Any positions authorized and allocated subject to the personnel laws to the former ConnectME Authority are transferred to the ConnectMaine Authority and may continue to be authorized.
5. All records, property and equipment previously belonging to or allocated for the use of the former ConnectME Authority become, on the effective date of this Act, part of the property of the ConnectMaine Authority.
6. All existing forms, licenses, letterheads and similar items bearing the name of or referring to the "ConnectME Authority" may be utilized by the ConnectMaine Authority until existing supplies of those items are exhausted.
Sec. 15. Rulemaking. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Act, the ConnectMaine Authority shall commence rulemaking to implement the provisions of this Act. In adopting rules to implement changes to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 9207, the authority shall consider permitting providers to submit data in a shapefile format. For the purposes of this section, "shapefile" means a vector data storage format for storing the location, shape and attributes of geographic features. Rules adopted under this section are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.