Working to transform the child welfare system.

Bills

HB 1460: Closing the digital divide by establishing excise taxes on telecommunications services to fund the expansion of the universal service programs in Washington

HB1460 establishes excise taxes on telecommunications services and expands the universal service programs through the state universal teleconnect service program and Washington Lifeline Program.

The department shall establish and administer a senior call-check service and notification program to eligible participants, as defined within the bill.

Subject to requirements and limitations outlined in the bill, the Washington Lifelife Program shall provide qualifying low-income customers reduced costs for eligible voice and broadband services. 

Reimbursement for eligible telecommunications carriers shall be contingent upon compliance with all federal lifeline requirements. The commission may withhold or suspend reimbursement while investigating compliance with state or federal lifeline requirements.

On or before December 1, 2022, and biennially thereafter, the commission must submit a report to the appropriate committees of  legislature, consistent with RCW 43.01.036, to provide an assessment of the lifeline program.

HB1460 establishes a state universal teleconnect service program with discounted rates for telecommunications services to qualifying K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries, community-based and public hospitals, community-based and public health clinics, and community organizations.

HB1460 amends the current statute and expands the governor’s statewide broadband office to improve accessibility and adoption for both unserved and underserved communities.