LD 554
First Regular Session - 125th Maine Legislature
LR 1771
Item 1
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Amend the Telecommunications Education Access Fund

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §7104-B, sub-§1, ¶B,  as enacted by PL 1999, c. 409, §2, is amended to read:

B. "Qualified school" means a public school , including its administrative offices and noninstructional facilities, as defined in Title 20-A, section 1, subsection 24; a private school approved under Title 20-A, section 2901 or 2951; or a school that provides free public access to all advanced telecommunications services available at that school, if the commission determines, in consultation with the Department of Education, that including that school as a qualified school is in the public interest.

Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §7104-B, sub-§4,  as amended by PL 2001, c. 522, §2, is further amended to read:

4. Use of fund.   The fund must be used to provide discounts to qualified libraries, qualified schools and the Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine for in support of the following:
A. Telecommunications services;
B. Internet access;
C. Internal connections;
D. Computers;
E. Training; and
F. Content.

Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §7104-B, sub-§4-A,  as enacted by PL 2009, c. 274, §18, is amended to read:

4-A. State Librarian; Commissioner of Education; University of Maine System.  The State Librarian or , the Commissioner of Education or the University of Maine System may enter into contracts or order services on behalf of qualified schools and qualified libraries in connection with the fund and may take advantage of any discounts available pursuant to the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA §7104-B, sub-§5,  as amended by PL 2001, c. 522, §2, is further amended to read:

5. Guidelines for funding.   The commission shall allocate money from the fund using the following guidelines:
A. To ensure a basic level of connectivity for all of the qualified schools and qualified libraries in the State;
B. To ensure that all qualified schools, qualified libraries and the Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine are capable of using the advanced technology equipment obtained through the fund;
C. To ensure that more technologically sophisticated equipment is available to students in grades 9 to 12 and in larger qualified libraries in the State;
D. To provide for necessary equipment to use the services obtained through the fund;
E. To provide for internal connections necessary to use the services obtained through the fund;
F. To provide training to teachers so that they may assist and educate their students in the use of the advanced technology equipment;
G. To provide for the establishment of computer technology training programs in schools to provide training to students in areas such as, but not limited to, electronic commerce, Internet proficiency and World Wide Web-enabled systems; and
H. To provide for electronic database content to be used for the purposes of accessing information by schools and libraries.

A minimum of 25% of each annual program budget must be devoted to targeted projects that are innovative and technologically advanced.


This bill makes changes to provisions governing the telecommunications education access fund to maximize the participation of federal funds, update outdated language and improve the State's ability to bring high-speed broadband service to schools and libraries.

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