Friday, March 24, 2006

Legislative Overview: Bill Roundup

Well, there's a crowd of telecom bills wandering the halls of the state legislature ready for the session to open on Monday. Here is a pregame list of the players. They range widely from bills that would repeal the Local Government Fair Competiton Act, to ones that would extend it to private companies, to ones that would provide various exemptions. There's also a bevy of emergency preparedness bills and a set of bills that would transfer municipalities rights to control their rights of ways through franchising agreements to the state.

It's hard to know which bills will actually turn out to be important but with this list you can try and keep track as game advances. We'll be most interested in those that directly effect municipal issues like Lafayette's fiber-optic project, New Orleans' WiFi system, and state franchise attempts. I'll try and do occasional updates to this list and a fuller post/summary of individual bills contents and implications.

Typically the bulk of bills are prefiled--meaning they are officially registered in advance of the session. Prefiling of bills has closed but each legislator can put forward five more before April 18th, so we've likely not seen the last of them.

Here is the current list:
  • HB 244, Robideaux, SB 192--Michot, Poison Pill, Would apply most of the rules that apply to municipal telecom entrants under the Local Government Fair Competition Act to "subsidized" private telecom providers. (Prefiled)
  • HB 245--Robideaux, SB 495--Michot, Repeal!!, Would Repeal the Local Government Fair Competition Act. (Prefiled)
  • HB 257, Robideaux, SB 243--Michot, Exemptions Would exempt Lafayette from the Fair Competition Act and exempt all wireless technologies. (Prefiled)
These three have been covered in these pages previously. But there is another batch that, for now, I'll just list. More later....
  • HB 537, Robideaux, Exemptions Redux, Would exempt Lafayette from the Fair Competition Act and exempt all wireless technologies. (Prefiled) [This version of the bill has several Acadiana co-sponsors: Representatives, Robideaux, Pierre, Trahan, and Alexander as well as Senator Michot]
  • SB 211, Murray, Wireless Exemption, Would exempt all wireless technologies from the Fair Competition Act. (Prefiled)
  • SB 386--Ellington, HB 699--Montgomery, State Video Franchise-panel, Would eliminate local video franchises and vest control in a panel appointed by the governor. (Prefiled) [co-sponsored by in the Senate by Smith]
  • HB 258, Farrar, State Video Franchise-PSC, Would eliminate local video franchises and vest control in the Public Service Commission. (Prefiled)
  • HB 540--Burns, Emergency Preparedness, Would mandate the development of a an emergency preparedness system. (Prefiled)
  • HB 619--Burns, Emergency Preparedness-Coastal, Would mandate the development of a an emergency preparedness system in coastal regions. (Prefiled)
Louisiana Legislation Dept.

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