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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2017

State Bills To Block Municipal Networks Start In Missouri, Virginia

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/state-bills-to-block-municipal-networks-start-in-missouri-virginia/

With each new legislative session come the new bills from the incumbents aiming to limit competition. We typically expect at least one and begin looking for them early in January as legislatures begin assembling in state capitols; this year the anti-muni efforts begin in Virginia and Missouri.

“Show-Me” Your Bill

Missouri’s communities have been the object of legislative persecution from big national incumbents and the legislators they back for several years. When we learned that another effort to severely limit the ability for municipalities to bring better connectivity to the community was afoot, we weren’t surprised.

This year, the bill is from Republican Senator Ed Emery, who has recently moved from the House to the Senate. Surprisingly, Emery’s bio reports that he also worked with his father and grandfather in their feed and grain business. As some one with a connection to farmers, one would expect him to understand the importance of high-speed connectivity in today’s agriculture industry. Emery also has a significant history in the utilities industry. He’s received both the Legislator of the Year Award from the Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association and the Leadership Award from the Missouri Telecommunications Industry Association.

SB 186 starts out strong by prohibiting local government from offering “competitive service,” which includes both retail or wholesale models. By preventing wholesale models, the bill interferes with a municipality’s ability to work with private sector partners, a major complaint about the bill introduced last year.

The bill states that voters can only choose to allow a municipality to offer any services after the community has engaged in a very thorough feasibility study and the results have been publicized. As with last year’s bill, SB 186 sets up onerous hurdles that threaten to sabotage a network in the early days, discouraging local communities from pursuing a chance to serve residents, businesses, and municipal facilities. The bill also dictates ballot language, establishes geographical limits on any local network, and clearly established that no funds from other municipal services can be directed toward a municipal network. Much of SB 186’s language comes from last year’s bill.

The bill is now in the Local Government and Elections Committee but no hearing has been scheduled yet; we’ll let you know when and if it’s on the agenda. View the entire text of SB 186 online.

Meanwhile In Virginia

Fresh from Virginia comes HB 2108, the “Virginia Broadband Deployment Act,” which makes changes to existing law by adding an entire section. The bill also repeals several disclosure exclusions relating to telecommunications; those exclusion are now under the Freedom of information Act. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2017

Solar: Choice, Competition, and Clean Air

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/choice-competition-and-clean-air/

It’s simple to promote solar power as a money saver and clean alternative to fossil fuel generation. But it sells solar short to focus only on savings, when it also gives Americans the freedom to generate their own energy and to challenge the economic and political power of big corporations. Individual Freedom If individuals want… Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2017

Response to Amazon’s Jobs Announcement, January 2017

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/response-to-amazons-jobs-announcement-january-2017/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Jan. 12 Contact: Nick Stumo-Langer, stumolanger@ilsr.org, 612-844-1330   Statement on Amazon’s Jobs Announcement Amazon is Causing More Job Losses than Gains, and It’s Lowering Wages WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and co-author of the recent report, “Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition,… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2017

Official Agendas Available, Fourth National Cultivating Community Composting Forum

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/agenda-fourth-national-cultivating-community-composting-forum/

In collaboration with the US Composting Council (USCC) and BioCycle, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance is releasing the agenda for the Fourth National Cultivating Community Composting Forum from January 23rd-24th to be held in conjunction with the USCC’s International Conference and Trade Show, COMPOST2017, in Los Angeles. These events will bring together composters to network, share best practices,… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2017

The Perils of Privatization – Episode 9 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-perils-of-privatization-episode-9-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

Welcome to episode nine of the Building Local Power podcast. For full transcript of the podcast click here. In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews David Morris, a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the director of the Public Good initiative. The two discuss the climate surrounding privatization… Continue reading