California assembly committee guts and kills net neutrality bills

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

One net neutrality bill is dead and another is critically wounded after a hearing this morning in the California legislature. The industry-friendly communications and conveyances committee adopted a long list of amendments to senate bill 822 that “eviscerate” it, as its author, senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco) put it. The committee’s chair, assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles), who has cashed tens of thousands of dollars worth of checks from telephone and cable companies, rammed the changes through over Wiener’s objections.

SB 460, a weaker bill carried by senator Kevin de Leon, was pulled from the agenda after Santiago nixed a deal to combine it with SB 822.

It’s a serious set back for net neutrality advocates, but not necessarily fatal. SB 460 is probably dead, but the language in SB 822 is a long way from being final. The next step is a hearing in the assembly privacy and consumer protection committee, which should come in the next week and a half.