The usual faces aren’t in the usual places, so California legislature stalls broadband bills

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Chp horses capitol 3feb2016

A political pissing match between the California senate and assembly will delay action on a bill that aims to raise California’s broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload speeds. Senate bill 1130, authored by Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles) was one of only two bills scheduled to be heard this morning by the assembly’s communications and conveyances committee.

The other is SB 431. Carried by Mike McGuire (D – Sonoma), it would require mobile carriers to install back up generators at their cell sites in high fire threat areas, and maintain service, including “basic internet browsing for emergency notices” during disasters and power outages – purposeful or not.

All of today’s assembly committee hearings were cancelled late yesterday by assembly speaker Anthony Rendon (D – Los Angeles). He sent out a message to assembly members, which was retweeted by John Myers, Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times

Members –

I want to alert you that I am concerned about the imbalance of bills yet to be considered in each house. In order to facilitate discussions with the Senate, I am delaying tomorrow’s Assembly hearings. There will be no Assembly committee meetings tomorrow.

We have important work in front of us and I am confident that we will come together to work on behalf of the people of California.

Thank you

Anthony

Translation: if the senate trashes our bills because they’re jammed for time, we’ll show them what it really feels like to be jammed.

The legislature came back to Sacramento yesterday (I was about to write “came back to work”, but thought better of it) after a second covid–19 shutdown. They have a bit more than a month to get through hundreds of bills. Most of the bills authored by senators are in the assembly now, and most of the assembly bills are in the senate. Which might seem like an equitable division of work, except that there are twice as many assembly members as senators, and twice as many assembly bills. Under normal circumstances, the fact that half as many senators have to work through twice as many bills isn’t a problem – it evens out eventually. But things are not normal this year.

Stay tuned.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.