Tags: Kentucky | Phone | Deregulation | Bill

Kentucky Puts Phone-Deregulation Bill on Hold

Thursday, 15 March 2012 11:14 AM

A bill that would deregulate land-line telephone service in Kentucky has been put on hold, if not killed, following a decision by state House Speaker Greg Stumbo to oppose it.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the announcement from Democrat Stumbo brought consideration of the Republican-sponsored measure to an abrupt halt in the state Senate, where leaders immediately canceled a planned vote on it.

An angry lobbyist for AT&T, which the newspaper said initially drafted the measure and has been pushing for its passage, stormed off and refused to comment when questioned by reporters Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers, a Republican, told the Courier-Journal the bill’s GOP sponsor, Sen. Paul Hornback, would attempt to meet with Stumbo to work out a compromise measure before the legislature adjourns in two weeks.

But Stumbo didn’t seem to be in a compromising mood, according to the newspaper. When asked what could be done to “fix” the bill to his satisfaction, Stumbo replied, “Kill it.”

The Courier-Journal reported that the bill is controversial because it would allow AT&T and two other phone companies to stop providing customers with land-line services and force them to go cellular. The phone companies, however, have insisted that they would not stop providing current services, but simply want the authority to focus all future expansion efforts on wireless services.

According to the Courier-Journal, AT&T drafted the legislation and is paying 32 lobbyists to help push the bill through the legislature.

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Thursday, 15 March 2012 11:14 AM
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