Thursday, May 04, 2006

City-Parish Council Opposes State Franchise Bill

The first order of business at Tuesday night's Lafayette City Parish Council meeting was a resolution opposing the HB 699 the BellSouth/AT&T bill that would create a state-wide franchise that would cut local governments out of the loop on cable franchise fees. The law amounts to an expropriation of locally-owned rights-of-way by the state for the benefit of a BellSouth (soon to be AT&T).

Naturally local governments are opposed.

But the story here is that that opposition is beginning to be made public. That doesn't begin to happen until a coalition has coalesced around a consensus position. Lafayette's resolution is one sign that local governments are aware of the danger the bill represents and have decided to simply oppose the bill. That's smart; there's no real way to compromise on sovereignty and that is what is at stake for local governments.

The resolution is also a sign that the deal recently cut by Lafayette is a truce, not a peace. That's smart too.

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