Executive Orders Shift Power from the Federal to State Government
On December 14, 2017 the F.C.C. voted to temporarily remove the regulations regarding Net Neutrality. Several media outlets jumped to the conclusion that this was the end of Net Neutrality. In reality, it was only the beginning of the reinstatement process.
21 states are currently suing the F.C.C. for their vote regarding Net Neutrality.
California, Montana, New York and New Mexico are currently building legislation that would take the regulations of Net Neutrality into their own hands.
Out of these states California is the closest to passing legislation following the Senate’s approval of SB-460. This bill was proposed by Sen. Kevin de León (D-California).
Governors in multiple states are taking steps to create legislation to move the laws and structure from a federal level to a state level. This move is an excellent step forward to empower states over the federal government. Similar to other laws that the states have reversed, this legislation can help secure a fair and balanced Internet.
Ars Techina reported:
‘The Montana and New York executive orders focus exclusively on the purchasing requirements for state agencies instead of imposing requirements directly on ISPs. The California bill is a more direct challenge to the FCC’s preemption order because it requires all ISPs to follow net neutrality rules regardless of whether they provide Internet service to state agencies.’
This past Monday marked two governors signing executive orders imposing the regulations stay the same in Montana and New York. Montana Governor Steve Bullock spoke with NPR on this subject.
“That’s exactly right. Montana alone, we purchase close to $50 million a year of Internet services. And just saying that if you want to provide those services, expectation is that you’ll disclose the provisions around net neutrality. And you’ll also adhere to the expectations that most Montanans and most Americans want, and that’s a free and open Internet.” – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
In addition to Montana, the governor of New York also signed an executive order on Monday.
As an independent media outlet, we understand the importance of Net Neutrality. When large corporations work together to limit free speech, the general public loses out on the value of independent press. Freedom of speech is one of the founding blocks of the United States. When corporations band together to provide favoritism to one another, it creates an unfair environment for journalists. This is a bipartisan problem. It goes beyond the political divide.
In New Mexico two Democratic state lawmakers have proposed consumer protection legislation to the Republican Governor Susana Martinez.
Currently, Martinez has not responded on the legislation, but will be unable to stay silent for long. 83 percent of Americans are in favor of Net Neutrality, and any politician that is against it, will experience a backlash within their state.
Associated Press reported:
‘Several states have introduced bills to protect net neutrality, while the FCC’s order bars state laws from contradicting the federal government’s approach.’
Despite the power move from the F.C.C., state governments, AT&T and Senators will continue to reinstate fair and safe regulation for Internet consumers.