Mark Kleinschmidt reports (and Wilson’s Brian Bowman confirms) that N.C. House Bill 1587, the so-called Local Government Fair Competition Act, has been moved to committee. This effectively kills it, thanks to the many citizens who let their opposition be heard!
Reports from the committee meetings tell me that after the committee’s action, Chairman Luebke publicly thanked those who took part in the “tremendous grass roots effort, ” that “brought this bill to a halt.”
Kleinschmidt also quotes “activist” Catherine Rice in his comments section, saying:
The House Finance Committee killed the old version of HB1587 (The Local Gvt Fair Competition Act) this morning, reporting it out unfavorably, and replacing it with the attached “Study bill,” which was then reported out favorably. The new Finance Committee substitute authorizes the “Joint Legislative Utility Review Committee” to “study local government owned and operated Communications Service” and will report on 4 areas: 1)the adequacy of coverage of communications services offered by current providers across the state, including rural and other high cost areas; 2) the adequacy of communications services currently offered by local governments; 3) The private and public costs and benefits of providing communications services through private providers compared to a local government owned communications service producer (effect on existing and future jobs, actual economic development prospects, tax-base growth, education and public health and, 4) the effect of local government owned and operated communications services on competition with privately owned communications services
-The Committee “may” make an interim report to the 2007 General Assembly, Regular Session 2008, and shall submit a final report to the 2009 Session of the General Assembly. The Committee “may propose legislation, if appropriate, to regulate the operation of local gvt owned and operated communications services.”
Now, let’s watch closely how Wilson’s project progresses. Judging by the effort the big telecoms put into trying to ban it, I’m betting it will be wildly successful.