On Tuesday, May 30, representatives from MassAccess will testify in front of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy at the State House in Boston. President Bill Nay and Vice President Melinda Garfield have been selected to provide testimony to the committee in an effort to get them to act favorably in support of An Act Supporting Community Access Television (H2682 & S1857). Our legislative team has been advised by our lobbyists that the traditional tactic of “storming” the State House is likely not our best option at this point. However, there are several ways you can help us with this effort.
- Now is the time to request written letters of support from your local government. Be it the Mayor, Town Manager, City Council or Board of Selectmen, letters of support of local stations will be a key component to getting our HD/EPG legislation passed. Written testimony can be sent directly to State Representatives and/or Senators and does not have to be done before the actual hearing.
- You are more than welcome to attend the hearing if you would like to lend support to the cause. We have a good panel set up for the hearing, including Mr. Jim Horwood (below). If you’d like us to cover anything in our testimony, please feel free to email and we’ll be happy to add that to the written comments submitted after the hearing. The committee has a very full agenda on that day and we’re trying to be mindful of it.
- Those centers that are represented by members of this committee OR are represented by legislators who sponsored either bill will be contacted separately by a MassAccess board member. We are hoping that you will call the legislators directly and ask them to look favorably upon the legislation or in the case of sponsors, ask them to testify to the committee. We feel that testimony from fellow legislators is imperative to the success of the Bill so we ask that you make phone calls before Thursday of this week.
MassAccess is also happy to announce that we have secured the services of Jim Horwood, the Legal Counsel for the Alliance for Community Media, who will also be making the trip to Boston to testify in front of the committee. One of the biggest stumbling blocks we encountered in the last legislative session was when the cable companies asserted that state legislation would interfere with federal legislation. Mr. Horwood is being brought in to counter those arguments and we are extremely pleased to have him representing us.