senate Bill S1053

Enacts the accessible electronic information act for blind and disabled persons; creates a new fund in the state finance law; authorizes a NFP to administer the prog

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 01 / Mar / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 22 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 22 / Jun / 2011
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1493
  • 22 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A4161

Summary

Enacts the accessible electronic information act for blind and disabled persons; creates a new fund in the state finance law.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4161
Versions:
S1053
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Add §92-g, Pub Serv L; add §99-t, St Fin L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S2615B, A2467B
2007-2008: S5960, A3108A

Votes

9
0
9
Aye
0
Nay
3
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Energy and Telecommunications committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1053

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the public service law and the state finance law, in relation
to enacting the accessible
electronic information act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

Thousands of New Yorkers have disabilities (including blindness or
visual impairment) that prevent them from using conventional print
material.

Low cost interstate telecommunication rates make distribution of
electronic text-based information to blind or visually impaired New
Yorkers both efficient and cost effective for the state. Use of this
accessible electronic information service will improve the state's
current efforts to meet the needs of blind and disabled citizens for
access to information that is otherwise available in print, thereby
reducing isolation and supporting full integration and equal access
for such individuals.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 2 of this legislation is the definitions section. The
accessible electronic information service, which is defined in the
legislation, shall be provided by a qualified and registered
not-for-profit organization. The service shall be intended for
continuation from year to year and make maximum use of federal and
other kinds available by obtaining grant or in-kind support from
appropriate programs, and by securing access to low-cost interstate
rates for telecommunications by reimbursement or otherwise.

The legislation defines "Accessible electronic information service" as
news and other timely information provided to eligible individuals
via a service using high-speed computers and telecommunication
technology for interstate acquisition and rapid distribution of
content in a form suitable for use by such eligible individuals.

"Blind and disabled persons" means those individuals who are qualified
for library loan services through the Library of Congress and the
State Library for the Blind and physically Handicapped.

Section 3 of this legislation creates a new fund under the supervision
of the state comptroller known as the "accessible electronic
information service fund". Such fund may consist of money transferred
thereto from the Targeted Accessibility Fund (TAF), and shall also
consist of such grants, gifts or donations which may be deposited to
the fund for the support of the service.

JUSTIFICATION:


Thousands of citizens in New York have disabilities (including blindness
or visual impairment) that prevent them from using conventional print
material.

The state fulfills an important duty by providing books and magazines
prepared in Braille, audio, and large-type formats made available to
eligible blind and disabled persons. The technology, transcription
methods, and means of distribution used for these materials are labor
intensive and cannot support rapid dissemination to individuals in
rural and urban areas throughout the state.

Lack of direct and prompt access to information included in
newspapers, magazines, newsletters, schedules, announcements, and
other time-sensitive materials, limits educational opportunities, and
full participation in society by blind and disabled persons. This
constraint can best be overcome through use of high-speed computer
and telecommunication technology, combined with customized software,
providing a practical and cost-effective means to convert electronic
text-based information into synthetic speech suitable for statewide
distribution with modem telecommunication technology.

Use of this accessible electronic information service will improve the
state's current efforts to meet the needs of blind and disabled
citizens for access to information which is otherwise available in
print, thereby reducing isolation and supporting full integration and
equal access for such individuals.

LEGISLATION IN OTHER STATES:

Several other states have introduced and/or enacted legislation
concerning accessibility to electronic information. The states
introducing and/or enacting such legislation include:

Florida - Introduced in 2006
Illinois - Enacted July 22, 2004
Kentucky- Introduced in 2000

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-10: S.2615A/A.2467 - Finance/Rules
2008-09: S.5960 Energy and Telecommunications; A.3108A Ways and Means
2006-07: A.10172 Corporations, Authorities & Commissions
2005-06: A.1757A Corporations, Authorities & Commissions
2004-05: A.6464 Corporations, Authorities & Commissions

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
become a law, with provisions.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1053

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. PARKER, DILAN, KLEIN, KRUEGER, MAZIARZ, MONTGOMERY
  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
  the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications

AN ACT to amend the public service law and the  state  finance  law,  in
  relation to enacting the accessible electronic information act

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Short title.  This act shall be known and may be  cited  as
the "accessible electronic information act".
  S 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 92-g to
read as follows:
  S 92-G. ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION; BLIND AND DISABLED PERSONS.
1.  A  QUALIFIED NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY CAPABLE OF PROVIDING SUCH SERVICE
SHALL PROVIDE AN ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICE FOR  ELIGIBLE
BLIND  AND DISABLED PERSONS. THIS SERVICE SHALL BE PLANNED FOR CONTINUA-
TION FROM YEAR TO YEAR AND MAKE MAXIMUM USE OF FEDERAL AND  OTHER  FUNDS
AVAILABLE  BY  OBTAINING  GRANT  OR  IN-KIND  SUPPORT  FROM  APPROPRIATE
PROGRAMS AND SECURING ACCESS TO LOW-COST INTERSTATE RATES FOR TELECOMMU-
NICATIONS BY REIMBURSEMENT OR OTHERWISE.
  2. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOW-
ING MEANINGS, UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED:
  (A) "ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICE" MEANS NEWS  AND  OTHER
TIMELY  INFORMATION (INCLUDING NEWSPAPERS) PROVIDED TO ELIGIBLE INDIVID-
UALS FROM A MULTI-STATE SERVICE CENTER, USING HIGH-SPEED  COMPUTERS  AND
TELECOMMUNICATIONS  TECHNOLOGY FOR INTERSTATE ACQUISITION OF CONTENT AND
RAPID DISTRIBUTION IN A FORM APPROPRIATE FOR USE BY SUCH INDIVIDUALS;
  (B) "BLIND AND DISABLED  PERSONS"  MEANS  THOSE  INDIVIDUALS  WHO  ARE
ELIGIBLE  FOR  LIBRARY LOAN SERVICES THROUGH THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND
THE STATE LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED  PURSUANT  TO
36 CFR 701.10(B);

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02123-01-1

S. 1053                             2

  (C) "DIRECTOR" MEANS THE DIRECTOR OF THE SELECTED NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTI-
TY;
  (D) "QUALIFIED ENTITY" MEANS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENTITY WITHIN THIS STATE
CAPABLE OF PROVIDING ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICES WHICH:
  (I)  PROVIDES  INTERSTATE  ACCESS  FOR  ELIGIBLE PERSONS TO READ DAILY
NEWSPAPERS PRODUCING AUDIO EDITIONS BY COMPUTER, AND
  (II) PROVIDES A MEANS OF PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AND  READER  REGISTRA-
TION ON THE INTERNET.
  S  3. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-t to
read as follows:
  S 99-T. ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICE FUND.   1. THERE  IS
HEREBY  ESTABLISHED  IN  THE  CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER A SPECIAL
REVENUE FUND TO BE  KNOWN  AS  THE  "ACCESSIBLE  ELECTRONIC  INFORMATION
SERVICE FUND".
  2.  NOTHING  CONTAINED  IN  THIS  SECTION SHALL PREVENT THE STATE FROM
RECEIVING GRANTS, GIFTS OR BEQUESTS AND DEPOSITING THEM INTO THE  ACCES-
SIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICE FUND ACCORDING TO LAW.
  3.  THE ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION SERVICE FUND SHALL BE ADMIN-
ISTERED BY THE PUBLIC  SERVICE  COMMISSION,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE
DIRECTOR, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION.
  4.  THE  TARGETED  ACCESSIBILITY FUND, INC., ESTABLISHED BY THE PUBLIC
SERVICE COMMISSION IN ITS "ORDER AND OPINION 98-10", MAY ALLOCATE  FUNDS
FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF  PROVIDING  ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTION OF NEWSPAPERS,
PERIODICALS, TIME SENSITIVE MATERIALS, AND OTHER INFORMATION  WHICH  MAY
BE OF BENEFIT TO THE COMMUNITY.
  S  4.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law; provided, however, that  effective  immediately,  the
addition,  amendment  and/or  repeal of any rule or regulation necessary
for the implementation of this act on its effective date  is  authorized
and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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