I often put up diaries highlighting dumb policies, foolish planning and bad ideas coming out of a statehouse. Last week, when the State of Kansas submitted legislation proposing that cities could not help invest in growth of the internet in any community, I was shocked at the level of attention. 10k+ Shares, Hundreds of tweets, and I was contacted by media sources and others, did a few call ins to local (conservative) radio talk shows to discuss the problem with this kind of legislation.
So, I thought I'd let you know how this turned out:
Facing public backlash over a Senate bill that would outlaw community broadband services statewide, Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, announced on Monday the postponement of hearings set to take place this week.
Senate Bill 304 would prohibit cities and counties from building public broadband networks. The Commerce Committee, which Lynn chairs, was scheduled to have a hearing Tuesday, but Lynn released a statement that hearings have been postponed indefinitely.
“Based on the concerns I heard last week, I visited with industry representatives and they have agreed to spend some time gathering input before we move forward with a public hearing,” Lynn said in a statement.
In the aftermath I had more than a few phone calls, email lists light up and a chance to talk to a few Representatives. So, I want to tell this short story: thanks to a lot of feeds, the shares, the outrage Kansas legislators were caught with their hands in the cookie jar and were forced to back away, quickly.
There are moments where people say: what kind of impact can we, as diarists make? As people just sharing stories.
The moment this story began to spread, and the more other voices led their complaints and concerns, the more people shard information and started to complain the more skittish legislators became over this idea.
The information from the City of Chanute and others spread, and the state couldn't avoid the debate.
So, a tip of the hat to every Kossack who helped keep this story in rotation, who spread it, shared it and put the pressure on.
To every Kansan who filled the circuit boards at Topeka with the complaints.
Thank you. Re-affirms my belief that when exposed to the light of some truth, bad ideas are forced to go running.
Lynn elaborated while exiting a Senate Judiciary hearing. The senator said she has instructed “the parties” involved with the bill to address the public’s concerns. The bill was introduced by John Federico, a cable industry lobbyist.Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/...
“I’m just letting the parties work out their differences to make sure anything … that I decide to bring forward is ready for a hearing because the last thing I want to do is create confusion,” she said.
Also, a side laugh; Funny to hear open acknowledgement that industry can directly submit legislation to the house floor rather than an elected member.
9:55 PM PT: Chanute Kansas put out this excellent video on the subject.