(2) mechanics of calculating prices for services covered under price regulation;
(3) rate increases or rate structure changes independent of the price cap index;
(4) price regulation review.
One objective of the proposed rule revision is to make those changes to this chapter deemed necessary as a result of the Commission's review of price regulation pursuant to s. 196.196 (1) (g), Stats., and the annual reviews of price regulation for each price-regulated telecommunications utility. These changes include the new concept of an optional infrastructure investment objectives plan (an option available once a utility has completed its initial infrastructure commitment under s. 196.196 (5), Stats.), changing the penalty and incentive mechanism table, and adding two additional service quality components approved by the Commission. An additional objective of the proposed rule revisions is to update the citations and clarify language, where necessary. Finally, two sections where a significant amount of reorganizing was done are described below.
Section PSC 163.04 (2) (c), which deals with service quality, has been reorganized into s. PSC 163.04 (2) (c) through (ct) for clarity. Many portions have just been moved to other locations in the section (for example, much of s. PSC 163.04 (2) (c) 2. has been moved to s. PSC 163.04 (2) (cd) 1., much of s. PSC 163.04 (2) (c) 5. now appears in s. PSC 163.04 (2) (c) 2., and s. PSC 163.04 (2) (c) 6. through 8. are now in s. PSC 163.04 (2) (cp)). The establishment of initial service quality components, industry-wide standards, and company-specific benchmarks is discussed separately from the ongoing revisions of components, standards, and benchmarks. A new process has been created to ensure that any revisions to service quality benchmarks are completed before the beginning of the year to which they will be applied. Two additional Commission approved service quality components have been added. Finally, the Commission's ability to vary penalties due to exceptional or unusual circumstances has been changed to more closely match the language used in other PSC administrative rule chapters.
Section PSC 163.04 (2) (d), which deals with infrastructure investment, has also been reorganized into s. PSC 163.04 (2) (d) through (dw) for clarity. Again, many portions have just been moved to other locations in the section. The establishment of initial infrastructure investment components and benchmarks is discussed separately from the ongoing revisions of components and benchmarks. This section has also been updated to include the new concept of an optional infrastructure investment objectives plan. A new process has been created to ensure that any revisions to infrastructure benchmarks are completed before the beginning of the year to which they will be applied. Finally, the Commission's ability to waive all or a portion of an infrastructure penalty due to exceptional or unusual circumstances has been changed to more closely match the language used in other PSC administrative rule chapters.
Proposed Rules
Copies of the proposed rules can be obtained by contacting Tom Ferres, (608) 266-1124.
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
These rules may have an effect on small telecommunications utilities, which are small businesses under s. 196.216, Stats., for the purposes of s. 227.114, Stats., because they may elect to become price regulated under s. 196.196 (1), Stats., which would result in these rules becoming applicable to them. The agency has considered the methods in s. 227.114 (2), Stats., for reducing the impact of the rules on small telecommunications utilities and finds that incorporating any of these methods into the proposed rules would be contrary to the statutory objectives which are the basis for the proposed rules. In addition, the election of price regulation under this chapter is voluntary, and more flexibility and less stringent compliance requirements for small telecommunications utilities are available in ss. 196.195 (12) and 196.196 (4), Stats.
At the time of this notice, there are 84 local exchange companies in Wisconsin, 77 of which are small telecommunications utilities. The agency finds that the availability of a voluntary price regulation election under s. 196.196, Stats., and the process set forth in this chapter to govern the price regulation election are in the public interest for all telecommunications utilities in the state.
Fiscal Estimate
These rules will have no fiscal impact on the agency or on any other state or local units of government. No additional fiscal burden will be imposed on the state or on small businesses as a result of these proposed rules.
NOTICE IS GIVEN that a hearing on these proposed rules will be held beginning on Thursday, January 18, 2001, at 9 a.m. in the Amnicon Falls Hearing Room at the Public Service Commission Building, 610 North Whitney Way, Madison, Wisconsin, and continuing at times to be set by the presiding Administrative Law Judge. This building is accessible to people in wheelchairs through the Whitney Way first floor (lobby) entrance. Parking for people with disabilities is available on the south side of the building. Any person with a disability who needs additional accommodations should contact the case coordinator listed below.
Written Comments
Any person may submit written comments on these proposed rules. The hearing record will be open for written comments from the public, effective immediately, and until Friday, January 19, 2001, at noon (Thursday, January 18, 2001, at noon, if filed by fax).
All written comments must include a reference on the filing to docket 1-AC-189. File by one mode only.
If filing by mail, courier, or hand delivery: Address as shown at the beginning of this Notice. Industry parties should submit an original and 15 copies. Members of the general public need only file an original.
If filing by fax: Send fax comments to (608) 266-3957. Fax filing cover sheet MUST state “Official Filing," the docket number (1-AC-189), and the number of pages (limited to 20 pages for fax comments).
Contact Persons
Questions from the media may be directed to Jeffrey L. Butson, Public Affairs Director at (608) 267-0912. Other questions regarding this matter should be directed to Thomas Ferris, case coordinator, at (608) 266-1124, or by email at ferrit@psc.state.wi.us. Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may also use the Commission's TTY number, (608) 267-1479.
The Commission does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of programs, services, or employment. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations to participate in this proceeding or who needs to obtain this document in a different format should contact the case coordinator listed above.
Notice of Hearing
Workforce Development
(Economic Support, Chs. DWD 11-59)
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to ss. 49.129(7) and 227.11(2), Stats., the Department of Workforce Development proposes to hold a public hearing to repeal rules relating to stale electronic food stamp accounts.
Hearing Information
January 19, 2001   GEF 1 Building, Room 400X
Friday     201 E. Washington Avenue
10:00 a.m.     Madison
Interested persons are invited to appear at the hearing and will be afforded the opportunity to make an oral presentation of their positions. Persons making oral presentations are requested to submit their facts, views, and suggested rewording in writing.
An accessible entrance to the building is available via a ramp from the corner of Washington Avenue and Webster Street to the Webster Street entrance. If you have special needs or circumstances that may make communication or accessibility difficult at the hearing, please call (608) 267-9403 at least 5 working days before the hearing date. Accommodations such as ASL interpreters, English translators, or materials in audiotape format will be made available on request to the fullest extent possible.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Workforce Development
Statutory authority:   Sections 49.129 (7) and 227.11 (2), Stats.
Statute interpreted:   Section 49.129, Stats.
Relevant federal law:   7 CFR 274.12 (f) (7)
The proposed rule repeals the existing s. DWD 14.24, which allows the department to deactivate electronic food stamp accounts that have not been accessed for 3 months or longer. After deactivation, the benefits are made available to the food stamp group if they reapply for food stamps or contact the local economic support agency.
DWD 14.24 was adopted in September 1999 when the department implemented the electronic delivery of benefits under the federal food stamp program. The policy of deactivating accounts that have not been accessed for 3 months was intended to ensure contact with food stamp recipients who are not using their benefit cards. Under federal food stamp regulations at 7 CFR 274.12 (f) (7) (i), adoption of this policy is optional.
Based on feedback from local agencies, client advocates, and others, the department is now concerned that the process by which accounts are deactivated and then need to be reactivated has the potential to serve as a barrier to participation, particularly among the elderly and disabled. The department has decided that this potential outweighs any value the current policy may have in ensuring contact with recipients. The new policy will repeal the department's authority to deactivate accounts that have not been accessed for 3 months. The department will initiate other efforts to communicate with recipients who are not using their cards to discuss any concerns they may have.
DWD 14.25, which provides for expunging electronic food stamp accounts that have not been accessed for one year, is mandatory under federal food stamp regulations at 7 CFR 274.12 (f) (7) (ii) and remains unchanged.
Rule Text
SECTION 1. DWD 14.24 is repealed.
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The proposed rule will not affect “small business" as defined in s. 227.114 (1) (a), Stats.
Fiscal Estimate
There will be some costs associated with changing the internal and vendor automation systems but they are unknown at this time and will be absorbed within the department's budget.
Contact Information and Written Comments
Written comments on the proposed rules received at the following address no later than January 24, 2001, will be given the same consideration as testimony presented at the hearing.
Elaine Pridgen
Office of Legal Counsel
Dept. of Workforce Development
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
(608) 267-9403
Notice of Hearing
Workforce Development
Worker's Compensation, Ch. DWD 80
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development proposes an order to repeal and recreate DWD 80.67 relating to worker's compensation insurer name change or reorganization.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Workforce Development
Statutory authority: Secs. 102.15 (1) and 102.32 (2) (a), Stats.
Statute interpreted by the rule: Sec. 102.32 (2) (a), Stats.
Hearing Information
January 19, 2001   Madison
Tuesday   GEF 1 Bldg. Room B-106
10 a.m.   201 E. Washington Avenue
Interested persons are invited to appear at the hearing and will be afforded the opportunity to make an oral presentation of their positions. Persons making oral presentations are requested to submit their facts, views, and suggested rewording in writing.
An accessible entrance to the building is available via a ramp from the corner of Washington Avenue and Webster Street to the Webster Street entrance. If you have special needs or circumstances that may make communication or accessibility difficult at the hearing, please call (608) 267-6704at least 10 days prior to the hearing date. Accommodations such as ASL interpreters, English translators, or materials in audiotape format will be made available on request to the fullest extent possible.
The current DWD rule provides that when there is a change in the name, ownership, or control of an insurance company the insurer must notify DWD and the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB) 90 days prior to the change. It also requires insurers to notify its insured employers by issuing a new policy.
The proposed rule changes the 90-day notice to DWD and WCRB to 30 days, consistent with the 30-day notice requirement that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance applies to all insurers. It also eliminates the notice requirements for changes of ownership or control. The proposed rule authorizes insurers to notify insured employers of the name change by an endorsement to the existing policies rather than by canceling policies and reissuing new policies with the new name.
This updates a rule that has not kept pace with modern practice. Thirty days is sufficient notice. Notifying employers by endorsements to existing policies is easier, less expensive, and is the current insurance industry procedure. The ownership and control notices have been eliminated because neither the Department nor the WCRB does anything with that information, and because the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has similar notice requirements.
SECTION 1. DWD 80.67 is repealed and recreated to read:
DWD 80.67 Insurer Name Change. A worker's compensation insurer shall notify the department and the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau in writing 30 days before the effective date of a change in its name. The insurer shall comply with the name change requirements in its state of domicile and in the state of Wisconsin. On or before the effective date of an approved name change, the insurer shall notify each of its employers insured under ch. 102., Stats., that the insurer's name is changed. Insurers shall notify employers by an endorsement to the employer's existing policy that states the insurer's new name, or by any other means acceptable to the department. The insurer shall file a copy of the endorsement with the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau by personal service, facsimile or certified mail at the same time that it provides notice to the employer.
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
The rule affects companies authorized by the Commissioner of Insurance to sell worker's compensation insurance to Wisconsin employers. The proposed rule relaxes current reporting procedures by offering an easier method to comply with notification requirements. The type of professional skills necessary for compliance with the rules are skills related to processing insurance documents.
Fiscal Impact
The proposed rule has no fiscal impact.
Contact Information
The proposed rules are available on the DWD web site at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/dwd/hearings.htm. A paper copy may be obtained at no charge by contacting:
Richard D. Smith, Director
Bureau of Legal Services
Worker's Compensation Division
Dept. of Workforce Development
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
(608-267-6704)
Written Comments
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