Senate Bill No. 110
(By Senators Unger, Beach and Klempa)
[Introduced January 11, 2012; referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and then to the Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §31-15C-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to expanding the powers and duties of the Broadband Deployment Council.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §31-15C-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 15C. Broadband Deployment.
§31-15C-4. Powers and duties of the council generally.
(a) The council shall:
(1) Explore the potential for increased use of broadband service for the purposes of education, career readiness, workforce preparation, and alternative career training;
(2) Explore ways for encouraging state and municipal agencies to expand the development and use of broadband services, including audio and video streaming, voice-over Internet protocol, teleconferencing, and wireless networking;
(3) Implement electronic instruction and distance education services by July, 2014;
(a) (b) In addition to the powers set forth elsewhere in this article, the council is hereby granted, has and may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out and effectuate the purpose and intent of this article. The council shall have the power and capacity to:
(1) Provide consultation services to project sponsors in connection with the planning, acquisition, improvement, construction or development of any broadband deployment project;
(2) Promote awareness of public facilities that have community broadband access that can be used for distance education and workforce development;
(3) Advise on deployment of e-government portals such that all public bodies and political subdivisions have homepages, encourage one-stop government access, and that all public entities stream audio and video of all public meetings;
(2) (4) To make and execute contracts, commitments and other agreements necessary or convenient for the exercise of its powers, including, but not limited to, the hiring of consultants to assist in the mapping of the state, categorization of areas within the state, and evaluation of project applications: Provided, That the provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this code do not apply to the agreements and contracts executed under the provisions of this article;
(3) (5) Acquire by gift or purchase, hold or dispose of real property and personal property in the exercise of its powers and performance of its duties as set forth in this article;
(4) (6) Receive and dispense funds appropriated for its use by the Legislature or other funding sources or solicit, apply for and receive any funds, property or services from any person, governmental agency or organization to carry out its statutory duties; and
(5) (7) Perform any and all other activities in furtherance of its purpose.
(b) (c) The council shall exercise its powers and authority to bring broadband service to unserved areas. The council may not duplicate or displace broadband service in areas already served or where private industry feasibly can be expected to offer services in the reasonably foreseeable future.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to expand the charge of the Broadband Deployment Council to compel the study and promotion of the use of electronic, Internet, and virtual instruction on student learning, career readiness, workforce preparation and alternative career training; and to compel the council to implement e-instruction and distance education services by 2014.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.