Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Broomes' bill transformed

The Broome Bill was voted out of the commerce committee this morning, 4-3, and sent to the floor of the senate where it should be heard in the next few days. It was only reported favorably with a raft of amendments that appear to have exempted Lafayette from its provisions. Some of the consequences of the changes are clear. Some are less so.

What's crystal clear: Should any municipality choose to try to follow Lafayette's lead, it will have to go to a public vote if this bill becomes law. A clause was inserted that makes Lafayette's bond election count; we won't have to have a second election should this bill pass and be signed into law.

What's less clear: a clause "D" was sticken from the draft language. I'm no lawyer and so don't understand how it works but the consensus at the committee hearing seeemed to be (I watched the streaming video) that striking this resulted in Lafayette not having to put up with the onerous "fine" that would transfer $900,000 from Lafayette back into the pockets of Cox Communications if we had the nerve to do this for ourselves. No doubt this will clear up over the next few days. What is still less clear: how this will affect other municipalities. This is bad law and Lafayette's gain shouldn't become other municipalities' loss.

But, for Lafayette at least, the news is good.


Anonymous said...

Count me in on those who oppose the bill.
tim supple

John said...

Great! Unfortunately, you're a few hours late to join in trying to turn the tide at the committee hearing but it is now headed to the Senate floor.

A strong declaration from fiber411 or even just from you as an opponent of the plan would probably be much more telling than all the emails the pro side could send. You could join the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce in condemning this law.

I suggest a letter to the Senate outlining the reasons that interferring in the free choice of municipalities and abrogating contracts freely entered into by the consenting parties at the behest of one side is bad policy and worse government.

That could be truly effective action.