CHAPTER 256

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 510

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO REDESIGNATE EXISTING CHAPTER 74A OF TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE AS CHAPTER 100 OF TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, AND TO ADD A NEW CHAPTER 101 TO TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR EACH COUNTY OF THIS STATE TO ESTABLISH AND OPERATE A FUND TO BE USED TO REIMBURSE COUNTY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH 911 EMERGENCY REPORTING SYSTEMS FUND.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 74A of Title 16, Delaware Code, by redesignating such chapter as Chapter 100 of Title 16, Delaware Code, and by numbering the sections in such redesignated chapter as 10001, 10002, 10003, 10004 and 10005, respectively.

Section 2. Amend Title 16, Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new Chapter 101 to read as follows:

"Chapter 101. 911 Emergency Reporting System Fund.

§ 10101. Creation: Purpose.

Each county of the State by action of its governing body may create a special fund designated as the 911 Emergency Reporting System Fund (hereinafter 'Fund'). The Fund is created to provide a source of funds to reimburse county and local governments in this State for costs associated with 911-Enhanced Emergency Reporting Systems.

§ 10102. Definitions,

As used in this Chapter:

(1) 'Fund' shall mean the 911 Emergency Reporting System Fund created by this Chapter.

(2) '911-Enhanced Emergency Reporting System' shall have the same meaning assigned to such term by § 7402A(2) of this Title.

(3) 'System' shall mean a 911-Enhanced Emergency Reporting System.

(4) '911 Emergency Report Center' shall have the same meaning assigned to such term in § 7402A(1) of Chapter 16 of this Title.

(5) 'Primary 911 Emergency Report Center' shall mean each of the 911 Emergency Report Centers located in the cities of Newark and Wilmington, and in New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County in this State as of May 1, 1993.

(6) 'Residential local exchange telephone service' shall mean telephone service where the use of- the service is primarily for social or domestic purposes.

§ 10103. Funding,

(a) The fund shall be funded by means of a monthly surcharge of up to fifty (50) cents per month on all subscribers per subscription to residential local exchange telephone service in each county within this State. Each company providing residential local exchange-telephone service shall impose the aforementioned monthly surcharge on all subscribers per subscription for such service and shall set forth such surcharge as a clearly identifiable, separate item on all subscriber invoices rendered after the effective date of a county ordinance creating the fund pursuant to this Chapter. Notwithstanding any statute to the contrary, each county of this State shall have the authority to impose by ordinance this monthly surcharge of up to fifty (50) cents as described in this subsection.

(b) All surcharges collected by companies pursuant to this Chapter shall be remitted to the appropriate county in which a Primary 911 Emergency Report Center is located for costs incurred by that county or local governments in connection with the administration, staffing, street addressing and training necessary to support a system on a monthly basis. Each county shall enter Into a Memorandum of Understanding with each local jurisdiction in their respective county which provides primary or secondary 911 Emergency Reporting Service. Each Memorandum of Understanding shall include, but not be limited to, the terms related to areas of service responsibility and revenue sharing. Should two or more counties enact a surcharge pursuant to this Chapter then the revenue collected minus the company's cost shall be distributed to each county based upon the percent of population in the county versus the total of all such counties, based upon the latest census.

(c) Each company collecting such surcharge shall be entitled to recover the actual incremental costs of imposing, collecting and remitting such surcharges through a credit against such surcharges. This cost is defined as the additional incremental expense incurred by the company that is in addition to the normal expense of imposing and collecting the charges for the normal telephone service, subject to audit by the appropriate county jurisdiction. Where monies collected are equal to or less than the total charge for the telephone service provided, not including the surcharge, all monies collected will be used for the actual telephone service provided. Audits shall occur once every three years with all counties participating conducting the audit simultaneously.

(d) Each company collecting such surcharges shall not be responsible for uncollectable surcharges. Each county shall also enter into a memorandum of understanding with each company providing residential local exchange telephone service. Each memorandum of understanding shall include, but not be limited to, the terms related to the collection and distribution of funds pursuant to this Chapter and shall provide for reporting to the county the names and addresses of subscribers that fail to pay the surcharge; however, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prevent the county from taking appropriate actions to collect such surcharges designated by the company as uncollectable.

(e) Each company collecting such surcharge is fulfilling a governmental function and in so doing is immune from suit for damages of any kind or liable for refunds except to the extent that the company has failed to remit payment to the respective county including, but not limited to, funds due as a result of an audit pursuant to subsection (c) of this section."

Section 3. If any provision of this Act or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this Act which can be given effect without the Invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

Section 5. This Act shall become effective January 1, 1995.

Approved June 27, 1994.