SOURCE: League of California Cities

June 01, 2006 17:43 ET

League of California Cities on AB 2987 Assembly Vote: Calls on Legislature to Avoid a Rush to Judgment We All Will Regret Later

SACRAMENTO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 1, 2006 -- The League of California Cities today issued the following statement regarding the passage by the Assembly of AB 2987 (Núñez/Levine), a bill that would create a new statewide franchise for video and broadband service providers:

The League and California Cities is excited about the opportunity for greater competition in the delivery of video and Internet services to California consumers. We understand that competition will produce more affordable services and improve the quality of telecommunications services to city residents. We are committed to working on reforms that will achieve this goal without sacrificing important community values.

Yesterday, 77 members of the Assembly voted to pass a bill that falls far short of these goals. As currently written, AB 2987 will build a larger state government and undermine the ability of communities throughout the state to protect against telecommunications red-lining, reduce access to community broadcasting, and weaken consumer protections. Sadly, the Assembly has allowed industry arguments about "competition" and "lower costs" to prevail over the need to find solutions to the many problems that still exist with this bill.

This seems strangely reminiscent of how the same arguments were used ten short years ago to move a disastrous electricity deregulation bill through the Legislature at record speed. As everyone knows, the promised benefits not only did not materialize, but Californians will pay for the mistakes of that legislation for many years to come. We strongly caution against the same rush to judgment on this issue. As we all learned after 1996, the details do matter!

We will express our disappointment to our assembly members. We plan to work with our senators to ensure that this measure and the necessary amendments receive the full hearing the people of California deserve. At the end of the day, we all want to achieve expanded consumer choice and help lower costs -- not the illusion of it or, worse still, more expensive services and less choice. Let's take the time to do this right!

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Megan Taylor
    (916) 658-8228
    Cell: (916) 705-6679

    1400 K Street, Suite 400
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Phone: (916) 658-8200
    Fax: (916) 658-8240
    www.cacities.org