Chairman Billy Tauzin once explained to me that politics is something that we all know about; and then there is something called Louisiana Politics. The implication is that very few people really know much about politics and how they work down in the bayou.
I'll take him at his word. In spite of my travels to state capitals around the country, All the King's Men would not be enough to help me follow the legislative process in Baton Rouge. Thus I was pleasantly surprised to see that SB 877 has been sent on to Governor Kathleen Blanco for consideration. As introduced, the legislation closely matched model legislation developed by the ALEC task force on information technology and telecommunications. While PFF was not an active participant in the debate, through research and publication we were not simply bystanders either. Various parties to the legislative debate have made use of our research on municipal telecommunications providers throughout the last month.
According to Communications Daily, the compromises inherent to the process of lawmaking did not dilute the essence of the bill. CommDaily reports that the bill would require PSC obligations on the private sector to apply to local governments that enter the telecommunications marketplace. It seems only fitting. If anyone has made a careful analysis of the legislation, I invite you to email me your thoughts.