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1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Section 13-703 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/13-703)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 13-703)
7    (Section scheduled to be repealed on July 1, 2017)
8    Sec. 13-703. (a) The Commission shall design and implement
9a program whereby each telecommunications carrier providing
10local exchange service shall provide a telecommunications
11device capable of servicing the needs of those persons with a
12hearing or speech disability together with a single party line,
13at no charge additional to the basic exchange rate, to any
14subscriber who is certified as having a hearing or speech
15disability by a hearing care professional, as defined in the
16Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act licensed physician,
17speech-language pathologist, audiologist or a qualified State
18agency and to any subscriber which is an organization serving
19the needs of those persons with a hearing or speech disability
20as determined and specified by the Commission pursuant to
21subsection (d).
22    (b) The Commission shall design and implement a program,
23whereby each telecommunications carrier providing local



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1exchange service shall provide a telecommunications relay
2system, using third party intervention to connect those persons
3having a hearing or speech disability with persons of normal
4hearing by way of intercommunications devices and the telephone
5system, making available reasonable access to all phases of
6public telephone service to persons who have a hearing or
7speech disability. In order to design a telecommunications
8relay system which will meet the requirements of those persons
9with a hearing or speech disability available at a reasonable
10cost, the Commission shall initiate an investigation and
11conduct public hearings to determine the most cost-effective
12method of providing telecommunications relay service to those
13persons who have a hearing or speech disability when using
14telecommunications devices and therein solicit the advice,
15counsel, and physical assistance of Statewide nonprofit
16consumer organizations that serve persons with hearing or
17speech disabilities in such hearings and during the development
18and implementation of the system. The Commission shall phase in
19this program, on a geographical basis, as soon as is
20practicable, but no later than June 30, 1990.
21    (c) The Commission shall establish a competitively neutral
22rate recovery mechanism that establishes charges in an amount
23to be determined by the Commission for each line of a
24subscriber to allow telecommunications carriers providing
25local exchange service to recover costs as they are incurred
26under this Section. Beginning no later than April 1, 2016, and



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1on a yearly basis thereafter, the Commission shall initiate a
2proceeding to establish the competitively neutral amount to be
3charged or assessed to subscribers of telecommunications
4carriers and wireless carriers, Interconnected VoIP service
5providers, and consumers of prepaid wireless
6telecommunications service in a manner consistent with this
7subsection (c) and subsection (f) of this Section. The
8Commission shall issue its order establishing the
9competitively neutral amount to be charged or assessed to
10subscribers of telecommunications carriers and wireless
11carriers, Interconnected VoIP service providers, and
12purchasers of prepaid wireless telecommunications service on
13or prior to June 1 of each year, and such amount shall take
14effect June 1 of each year.
15    Telecommunications carriers, wireless carriers,
16Interconnected VoIP service providers, and sellers of prepaid
17wireless telecommunications service shall have 60 days from the
18date the Commission files its order to implement the new rate
19established by the order.
20    (d) The Commission shall determine and specify those
21organizations serving the needs of those persons having a
22hearing or speech disability that shall receive a
23telecommunications device and in which offices the equipment
24shall be installed in the case of an organization having more
25than one office. For the purposes of this Section,
26"organizations serving the needs of those persons with hearing



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1or speech disabilities" means centers for independent living as
2described in Section 12a of the Rehabilitation of Persons with
3Disabilities Act and not-for-profit organizations whose
4primary purpose is serving the needs of those persons with
5hearing or speech disabilities. The Commission shall direct the
6telecommunications carriers subject to its jurisdiction and
7this Section to comply with its determinations and
8specifications in this regard.
9    (e) As used in this Section:
10    "Prepaid wireless telecommunications service" has the
11meaning given to that term under Section 10 of the Prepaid
12Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act.
13    "Retail transaction" has the meaning given to that term
14under Section 10 of the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act.
15    "Seller" has the meaning given to that term under Section
1610 of the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act.
17    "Telecommunications carrier providing local exchange
18service" includes, without otherwise limiting the meaning of
19the term, telecommunications carriers which are purely mutual
20concerns, having no rates or charges for services, but paying
21the operating expenses by assessment upon the members of such a
22company and no other person.
23    "Wireless carrier" has the meaning given to that term under
24Section 10 of the Wireless Emergency Telephone Safety Act.
25    (f) Interconnected VoIP service providers, sellers of
26prepaid wireless telecommunications service, and wireless



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1carriers in Illinois shall collect and remit assessments
2determined in accordance with this Section in a competitively
3neutral manner in the same manner as a telecommunications
4carrier providing local exchange service. However, the
5assessment imposed on consumers of prepaid wireless
6telecommunications service shall be collected by the seller
7from the consumer and imposed per retail transaction as a
8percentage of that retail transaction on all retail
9transactions occurring in this State. The assessment on
10subscribers of wireless carriers and consumers of prepaid
11wireless telecommunications service shall not be imposed or
12collected prior to June 1, 2016.
13    Sellers of prepaid wireless telecommunications service
14shall remit the assessments to the Department of Revenue on the
15same form and in the same manner which they remit the fee
16collected under the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act. For
17the purposes of display on the consumers' receipts, the rates
18of the fee collected under the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge
19Act and the assessment under this Section may be combined. In
20administration and enforcement of this Section, the provisions
21of Sections 15 and 20 of the Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge
22Act (except subsections (a), (a-5), (b-5), (e), and (e-5) of
23Section 15 and subsections (c) and (e) of Section 20 of the
24Prepaid Wireless 9-1-1 Surcharge Act and, from June 29, 2015
25(the effective date of Public Act 99-6) this amendatory Act of
26the 99th General Assembly, the seller shall be permitted to



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1deduct and retain 3% of the assessments that are collected by
2the seller from consumers and that are remitted and timely
3filed with the Department) that are not inconsistent with this
4Section, shall apply, as far as practicable, to the subject
5matter of this Section to the same extent as if those
6provisions were included in this Section. The Department shall
7deposit all assessments and penalties collected under this
8Section into the Illinois Telecommunications Access
9Corporation Fund, a special fund created in the State treasury.
10On or before the 25th day of each calendar month, the
11Department shall prepare and certify to the Comptroller the
12amount available to the Commission for distribution out of the
13Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation Fund. The
14amount certified shall be the amount (not including credit
15memoranda) collected during the second preceding calendar
16month by the Department, plus an amount the Department
17determines is necessary to offset any amounts which were
18erroneously paid to a different taxing body or fund. The amount
19paid to the Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation
20Fund shall not include any amount equal to the amount of
21refunds made during the second preceding calendar month by the
22Department to retailers under this Section or any amount that
23the Department determines is necessary to offset any amounts
24which were payable to a different taxing body or fund but were
25erroneously paid to the Illinois Telecommunications Access
26Corporation Fund. The Commission shall distribute all the funds



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1to the Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation and the
2funds may only be used in accordance with the provisions of
3this Section. The Department shall deduct 2% of all amounts
4deposited in the Illinois Telecommunications Access
5Corporation Fund during every year of remitted assessments. Of
6the 2% deducted by the Department, one-half shall be
7transferred into the Tax Compliance and Administration Fund to
8reimburse the Department for its direct costs of administering
9the collection and remittance of the assessment. The remaining
10one-half shall be transferred into the Public Utilities Fund to
11reimburse the Commission for its costs of distributing to the
12Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation the amount
13certified by the Department for distribution. The amount to be
14charged or assessed under subsections (c) and (f) is not
15imposed on a provider or the consumer for wireless Lifeline
16service where the consumer does not pay the provider for the
17service. Where the consumer purchases from the provider
18optional minutes, texts, or other services in addition to the
19federally funded Lifeline benefit, a consumer must pay the
20charge or assessment, and it must be collected by the seller
21according to subsection (f).
22    Interconnected VoIP services shall not be considered an
23intrastate telecommunications service for the purposes of this
24Section in a manner inconsistent with federal law or Federal
25Communications Commission regulation.
26    (g) The provisions of this Section are severable under



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1Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
2    (h) The Commission may adopt rules necessary to implement
3this Section.
4(Source: P.A. 99-6, eff. 6-29-15; 99-143, eff. 7-27-15; revised
6    Section 10. The Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act
7is amended by changing Section 8 as follows:
8    (225 ILCS 50/8)  (from Ch. 111, par. 7408)
9    (Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2026)
10    Sec. 8. Applicant qualifications; examination.
11    (a) In order to protect persons who are deaf or hard of
12hearing, the Department shall authorize or shall conduct an
13appropriate examination, which may be the International
14Hearing Society's licensure examination, for persons who
15dispense, test, select, recommend, fit, or service hearing
16instruments. The frequency of holding these examinations shall
17be determined by the Department by rule. Those who successfully
18pass such an examination shall be issued a license as a hearing
19instrument dispenser, which shall be effective for a 2-year
21    (b) Applicants shall be:
22        (1) at least 18 years of age;
23        (2) of good moral character;
24        (3) the holder of an associate's degree or the



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1    equivalent;
2        (4) free of contagious or infectious disease; and
3        (5) a citizen or person who has the status as a legal
4    alien.
5    Felony convictions of the applicant and findings against
6the applicant involving matters set forth in Sections 17 and 18
7shall be considered in determining moral character, but such a
8conviction or finding shall not make an applicant ineligible to
9register for examination.
10    (c) Prior to engaging in the practice of fitting,
11dispensing, or servicing hearing instruments, an applicant
12shall demonstrate, by means of written and practical
13examinations, that such person is qualified to practice the
14testing, selecting, recommending, fitting, selling, or
15servicing of hearing instruments as defined in this Act. An
16applicant must obtain a license within 12 months after passing
17either the written or practical examination, whichever is
18passed first, or must take and pass those examinations again in
19order to be eligible to receive a license.
20    The Department shall, by rule, determine the conditions
21under which an individual is examined.
22    (d) Proof of having met the minimum requirements of
23continuing education as determined by the Board shall be
24required of all license renewals. Pursuant to rule, the
25continuing education requirements may, upon petition to the
26Board, be waived in whole or in part if the hearing instrument



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1dispenser can demonstrate that he or she served in the Coast
2Guard or Armed Forces, had an extreme hardship, or obtained his
3or her license by examination or endorsement within the
4preceding renewal period.
5    (e) Persons applying for an initial license must
6demonstrate having earned, at a minimum, an associate degree or
7its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher
8education that is recognized by the U.S. Department of
9Education or that meets the U.S. Department of Education
10equivalency as determined through a National Association of
11Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member, and meet the
12other requirements of this Section. In addition, the applicant
13must demonstrate the successful completion of (1) 12 semester
14hours or 18 quarter hours of academic undergraduate course work
15in an accredited institution consisting of 3 semester hours of
16anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism, 3
17semester hours of hearing science, 3 semester hours of
18introduction to audiology, and 3 semester hours of aural
19rehabilitation, or the quarter hour equivalent or (2) an
20equivalent program as determined by the Department that is
21consistent with the scope of practice of a hearing instrument
22dispenser as defined in Section 3 of this Act. Persons licensed
23before January 1, 2003 who have a valid license on that date
24may have their license renewed without meeting the requirements
25of this subsection.
26(Source: P.A. 98-827, eff. 1-1-15; 99-204, eff. 7-30-15.)



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1    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
2becoming law.