What's New this Month
On the Road to Next Session
What should have been a quiet fall and early winter has been anything but peaceful. Rural broadband is one of the biggest issues around the nation and our state is no exception. The challenge will be to help well-intentioned legislators on their way to creating solutions that really are, well, solutions. In the past few weeks Betty has spoken at the Lt. Governor’s hearing on rural broadband, the AWB’s Rural Jobs Summit and at numerous meetings with legislators. Gail Long, TDS and Pat Morse, Consolidated spent the better part of a week in Olympia during Assembly Days meeting with legislators who represent areas served by their companies. “Assembly Days” are scheduled during the off-session for hearings in the Washington State House and Senate. Those days are opportunities to spend time with legislators prior to session without having to make the trek to their individual districts.
WITA’s top priority will be to pass an extension to the state USF. The 2018 session will be 60 days long and will be full of broadband issues including statewide authority for the Ports, retail authority for the PUDs, broadband grant programs, a new state broadband office, pole attachments, privacy and net neutrality. That last issue just came up at the state level. The trick will be to tread our way through those pieces of legislation without giving up anything of importance to our members while at the same time not alienating any of the bill sponsors thereby putting our effort at risk.
Because of the short session Dan Coyne and Betty will be on the road next month meeting with legislators who are on the committees who will be hearing our bill. Unfortunately very few of them represent areas served by our member companies. Senator Short was taken off the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee as she was the most junior Republican and her caucus lost a seat on that committee. That’s another big loss for WITA and another reason why we have to shore up our relationships before January.
Questions and suggestions are always welcome. Since not even Betty knows her schedule between now and session it will be easiest for you to email her. She will be happy to call you in response.
Events – SAVE THE DATE
Check out the website Events page for information about more upcoming events.
Spotlight Your Company
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Thank you WITA Associate Member
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Associate Member Dues
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