HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

 BUSINESS, LABOR AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

 

 

January 27, 2003   Hearing Room E

8:30 A.M.    Tapes 9 - 10

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Betsy Close, Chair

Rep. Derrick Kitts, Vice-Chair

Rep. Diane Rosenbaum, Vice-Chair

Rep. Mary Gallegos

Rep. Bill Garrard

Rep. Jeff Merkley

Rep. Mike Schaufler

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Megan Palau, Committee Administrator

Mike Reiley, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            HB 2198 & HB 2230 – Public Hearing

HB 2229 & HB 2231 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 9, A

003

Chair Close

Calls meeting to order at 8:33 am. Opens public hearing on HB 2198 and HB 2230.

HB 2198 & HB 2230 – PUBLIC HEARING

020

Lee Beyer

Commissioner, Public Utility Commission (PUC). Submits prepared testimony and testifies in support of HB 2198 and HB 2130 (EXHIBIT A).

093

Rep. Garrard

Asks if PUC is capable of handling consumer complaints effectively.

096

Beyer

Answers yes. Explains role of PUC in handling complaints.

116

Rep. Merkley

Asks if there are practices to prevent slamming and cramming before it occurs.

122

Clark Jackson

Manager, Consumer Services Division, PUC. Refers to chart in written testimony and explains complaint process.

140

Beyer

Explains how slamming works and process for addressing it.

160

Jackson

Offers further clarification of slamming process.

162

Chair Close

Asks if Department of Justice (DOJ) and PUC are doing separate investigations.

173

Beyer

Explains how consumers address slamming complaints.

190

Jackson

Clarifies that there would not be duplicate fining with DOJ and PUC.

210

Chair Close

Asks about PUC funding.

214

Jackson

Explains funding for PUC.

220

Rep. Merkley

Asks where potential PUC fines would go.

224

Beyer

Responds that fines would go to general fund.

232

Rep. Rosenbaum

Asks if there is a requirement for written permission for customers to change phone carriers.

239

Jackson

Explains authorization process.

247

Rep. Rosenbaum

Asks for clarification of difference between HB 2198 and HB 2230.

251

Beyer

Explains differences between HB 2198 and HB 2230.

263

Rep. Rosenbaum

Asks if Federal Communication Commission (FCC) permission is required for PUC to regulate.

268

Jackson

Explains process for PUC to obtain regulation authority.

277

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if phone companies have ever been fined for slamming.

285

Jackson

Explains fining of phone companies.

295

Beyer

Answers that PUC has not fined companies and complaints have been referred to different agency.

311

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if number of complaints would be reduced.

316

Jackson

Responds that from data from other states indicates that fining authority should be deterrent.

334

Beyer

Reiterates that intention of PUC is to protect customers, not impose fines.

377

Brant Wolf

Oregon Telecommunication Association. Submits and summarizes prepared testimony regarding HB 2198 & HB 2230 (EXHIBIT B). Expresses OTA’s reservations regarding HB 2198 and HB 2230.

TAPE 10, A

007

Chair Close

Asks about enforcement of slamming.

010

Wolf

Explains process for slamming enforcement.

015

Chair Close

Asks about economy of scale of federal vs. state regulation.

019

Wolf

Responds that consistency is important.

024

Chair Close

Asks if two fines could be implemented.

025

Wolf

Responds that it could if two agencies have fining authority.

030

Rep. Gallegos

Asks how customers would be directed to file complaints.

035

Wolf

Responds that customers would be directed to FCC.

044

Rep. Gallegos

Expresses concern that customers would not know where to turn in case of slamming.

054

Wolf

Responds that customer would be referred to FCC by phone companies.

060

Rep. Garrard

Expresses concern that FCC would be able to efficiently handle issue.

070

Wolf

Concurs. Argues that legislation should specific in addressing issues.

076

Rep. Schaufler

Asks how companies make money.

090

Wolf

Responds that he does not know.

094

Rep. Kitts

Expresses concern over additional layer of bureaucracy.

110

Schelly Jensen

Regulatory and Governmental Affairs Manager, Verizon. Testifies that Verizon seeks consistency in laws.

138

Rep. Merkley

Asks about Washington rules regarding slamming.

142

Jensen

Responds that she is unsure.

146

Chair Close

Asks if those who solicit customers are independent contractors.

148

Jensen

Responds that companies are responsible for authorization.

150

Chair Close

Asks how phone companies control those who act for them.

152

Jensen

Explains control procedures.

157

Chair Close

Asks to whom the fine would be applied.

158

Jensen

Responds how fines are applied.

170

Chair Close

Asks about PUC’s ability to impose fine.

171

Jensen

Responds that FCC charge is appropriate.

179

Cathy Brightwell

Director of Government Affairs, AT&T. Testifies against bills.

201

Rep. Merkley

Asks if Washington is a model in how they have implemented legislation.

206

Brightwell

Responds that Washington has opted into FCC procedure and it has been effective.

217

Rep. Merkley

Asks if PUC authority would be similar in Oregon.

220

Brightwell

Responds that various states have handled it differently.

230

Ginny Lang

Director of Governmental Relations, Qwest. Submits and summarizes prepared testimony in opposition to HB 2198 and 2230 (EXHIBIT C).

280

Chair Close

Asks if Qwest deals in New Hampshire.

281

Lang

Responds no. Explains Qwest’s operations.

290

Chair Close

Asks about complaints in Oregon and New Hampshire.

300

Jensen

Responds that she is unsure.

304

Rep. Schaufler

Asks what should be done differently to allow PUC to enforce rules.

325

Lang

States that she is concerned about vagueness of legislation.

333

Rep. Rosenbaum

Asks about issues with language.

347

Lang

Responds that FCC rules should be more specifically addressed.

350

Rep. Garrard

Asks what phone companies have done to eliminate slamming.

368

Lang

Explains actions of Qwest to eliminate slamming.

402

Brightwell

Explains how AT&T has addressed issue.

453

Rep. Schaufler

Asks how many states have adopted FCC rules and how many have created their own rules.

458

Brightwell

Explains states’ adoption of rules.

470

Rep. Merkley

Asks if there are specific FCC regulations for customer authorization.

TAPE 9, B

004

Brightwell

Explains how authorization works.

023

Rep. Merkley

Asks what companies are concerned about with legislation.

034

Brightwell

Responds that AT&T is concerned that rules may be inconsistent with federal law.

050

Rep. Garrard

Asks about fining authority.

055

Lang

Responds about fining authority.

057

Chair Close

Asks about consistency with federal law.

062

Brightwell

Explains issues regarding consistency.

068

Cheryl Pellegrini

Attorney-in-Charge, Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section, Oregon Department of Justice. Submits and summarizes prepared testimony regarding role of DOJ and PUC regarding slamming regulation (EXHIBIT D).

135

Chair Close

Asks if SB 120 is the same bill.

136

Pellegrini

Responds “virtually.”

141

Chair Close

Asks if legislation is necessary due to DOJ progress on issue.

151

Pellegrini

Explains agencies’ ability to handle customer complaints.

170

Chair Close

Asks why New Hampshire has so many complaints.

175

Pellegrini

Explains figures in New Hampshire and Oregon.

184

Rep. Garrard

Asks if DOJ would go after telemarketer or telecom companies.

188

Pellegrini

Explains relationship between telemarketer and telecom companies.

209

Rep. Rosenbaum

Asks for distinction between current statute and proposed legislation.

217

Pellegrini

Explains how complaint process operates.

241

Rep. Rosenbaum

Asks if customers are referred to FCC or handles by DOJ.

246

Pellegrini

Responds that FCC has few resources to address slamming.

261

Rep. Gallegos

Asks why additional legal authority is necessary.

270

Pellegrini

Explains why legal authority is necessary.

290

Rep. Gallegos

Asks if there will reduction in staff at DOJ if legislation was passed.

293

Pellegrini

Answers no.

304

Chair Close

Closes public hearing on HB 2198 & HB 2230. Opens public hearing on HB 2229 & HB 2231.

HB 2229 & HB 2231 – PUBLIC HEARING

318

Beyer

Submits and summarizes prepared testimony in support of HB 2229 and HB 2231 (EXHIBIT E).

391

Chair Close

Asks for figures regarding slamming and cramming.

395

Jackson

Summarizes figures.

426

Rep. Gallegos

Asks about magnitude of issue.

443

Beyer

Explains how PUC operates regarding complaints.

019

Rep. Merkley

Asks if there has been national campaign by FCC to address uniform laws.

036

Jackson

Explains efforts to implement uniform laws.

045

Rep. Gallegos

Asks about PUC ability to handle complaints.

048

Jackson

Explains Consumer Services within PUC.

065

Beyer

Explains that they get calls every 2-3 min.

072

Wolf

Reiterates previous testimony regarding previous bills.

083

Chair Close

Asks about PUC in Washington.

085

Wolf

Responds.

087

Rep. Merkley

Asks if FCC can enforce regulations.

103

Wolf

Responds yes.

106

Rep. Merkley

Asks about enforcement at state level.

120

Wolf

Explains state enforcement.

132

Jensen

Emphasizes implementation of policies to prevent cramming.

144

Dave Paulson

Sprint. Addresses language in HB 2229 and HB 2231.

164

Chair Close

Closes public hearing on HB 2229 and HB 2231. Adjourns meeting at 10:08 am.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2198, HB 2230, prepared testimony, Lee Beyer, 7 pp

B – HB 2198, HB 2230, prepared information, Brant Wolf, 7 pp

C – HB 2198, HB 2230, HB 2229, HB 2231, prepared testimony, Virginia Lang, 1 p

D – HB 2285, prepared testimony, Cheryl Pellegrini, 3 pp

E – HB 2229, HB 2231, prepared testimony, Lee Beyer, 4 pp