Save the Internet: Federal Net Neutrality Legislation introduced

#SaveTheNetPress Conference: House and Senate Democratic leaders held a press conference, chaired by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Capitol Hill to unveil legislation aimed at restoring net neutrality rules established in 2015 which were repealed by the FCC in December 2017. Pelosi noted that 86 percent of Americans oppose this assault on net neutrality. Among the speakers at the press conference were Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA). Speaker Pelosi mentioned that California is the first State to have passed its own (CUE supported) legislation to restore net neutrality, SB 822, by CA Senator Scott Wiener which she actively supported. Nancy Pelosi’s remarks at the press event can be found here.

House Bill Introduced: Congressman, Mike Doyle introduced the Save the Internet Act (H.R. 1644) on March 8th, which would reverse the FCC’s repeal of critical net neutrality protections in late 2017 by codifying the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order. Since the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality, control of the Internet has been taken from the American people and handed over to Internet service providers (ISPs) that can now generate new profits by restricting access to what you can do on the Internet. Eshoo stated that the Save the Internet Act is a powerful bill that restores the internet as an open platform for content, speech, and information. The Internet is one of the greatest inventions in human history and it’s an American invention. It’s our responsibility to protect it as a force to drive innovation, expand our economy, and promote free speech in our democracy. No corporate entity should be able to manipulate it for their own advantage.”

According to Congresswoman Eshoo, a co-author of HR 1644, the bill would reinstate provisions to prohibit internet service providers from the blocking or throttling of web content, or from selling fast lanes to content companies to get special and speedier access to consumers. The legislation would also return the FCC with authority to crack down on instances when internet providers discriminate in the way that they handle web traffic. The Save the Internet Act bill with updates can be found here. Congresswoman Eshoo has stated she was encouraged by the documented support by the California Legislature for net neutrality provided by passage of the CUE-initiated, California Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 7) asking the California Congressional Delegation and the POTUS to restore net neutrality. To read AJR 7 click here.

Jessica RosenworcelSupport for Net Neutrality: FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, opposed the repeal and stated: I will keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I’m glad so many others are too. It is good news that Congress introduced new legislation to restore net neutrality. I’m all in for an open internet with open and unrestricted Internet access to homes and is necessary to help close the homework gap. CUE honored Jessica for her support net neutrality at its 2017 annual conference.

The Consortium on School Networking (CoSN) submitted a support letter for the CUE resolution, AJR 7, to save net neutrality, E-Rate, and Life Line and now CoSN is publically advocating support HR1644. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Fight for the Future, BattleForTheNet, and many others are advocating support of HR1644. Thirty-four states introduced 120 bills and resolutions regarding net neutrality in the 2018 legislative session. Five states, including California, have enacted legislation or adopted resolutions.

Current Status of HR 1644: After long debate and with 12 amendments, HR 1644 passed the House 232 to 190 on Wednesday April 10. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate where it will face major challenges and require much advocacy by its supporters.

Update on the CUE-Initiated Educational Technology Resolution, ACR 268

Tony ThurmondOn August 30, 2018, Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 268, by Assembly Members Tony Thurmond (now State Superintendent of Public Instruction), Kevin Mullin, and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, passed by the State Assembly and Senate. ACR 268 was Chaptered September 11, 2018 as Resolution Chapter 221, Statutes of 2018. ACR 268 was initiated by CUE with support from other California education entities. Assembly Member Thurmond the principal author of ACR 268 recently tweeted:

Integrating technology in K-12 education prepares students for success in college & careers. My ACR 268 was chaptered today and sets CA on the path of leading in education tech. It makes educational technology a state priority and calls for a state summit to develop new legislative budget proposals.

With the new State leadership there will be an opportunity to establish new plans and initiatives to address new priorities in many areas and especially education. We are collaborating with State Superintendent Thurmond and his staff as well as the CA State Board of Education and Governor Newsom’s staff, regarding next steps and actions needed to implement ACR 268 recommendations. The Resolution is clear evidence that the State Legislature has made a formal commitment to making educational technology support and access a major priority. We are now establishing a small committee to begin planning for an Educational Technology Summit as recommended in ACR 268, to establish future priorities for education and technology with recommendations for legislation and related funding. More details about ACR 268 will be reported in future updates. For more details about ACR 268 and other bills and resolutions initiated and/or supported by CUE click here.  For the full text of ACR 268 click here.

New California bills to consider

The following bills were introduced in the California Legislature over the past three months. These bills are reported if they generally relate to the CUE Advocacy Platform. Most bills will be amended several times as they pass through various committees. Now is the time to review bills of interest and take positions and/or suggest amendments. We will monitor each of these bills and any other new bills that are of interest to CUE. To review all bills being introduced this session click here.

AB 52, Assembly Member Mark Berman, Computer science strategic implementation plan. Existing law, until July 31, 2020, requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a computer science strategic implementation advisory panel with a specified membership to develop and submit recommendations for a computer science strategic implementation plan to the Superintendent, the State Board of Education, and the Legislature. This bill would require the computer science strategic implementation plan to be updated every 7 years. The bill also would make these provisions apply indefinitely.

  • Status: Passed Assembly Education Committee, Ayes: 6; Noes: 0; Abstain: 0

AB 20, Assembly Member Mark Berman. Computer science strategic implementation plan: California Computer Science Coordinator. This bill would create the California Computer Science Coordinator in the State Department of Education to provide statewide coordination in implementing the computer science strategic implementation plan once it has been adopted by the state board and submitted to the Legislature.

  • Status: Assembly Education Committee, Ayes: 6; Noes: 0; Abstain: 0

AB 578, Assembly Member, Kevin Mullin, The California STEM Professional Teaching Pathway Act of 2019. This bill would establish the California STEM Professional Teaching Pathway for purposes of recruiting, training, supporting, and retaining qualified science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals as mathematics and science teachers in California. This bill would appropriate $2,000,000 from the General Fund to the State Department of Education for the 2019–20 fiscal year for purposes of the bill, to be allocated as a one-time grant to a postsecondary educational institution, nonprofit public benefit corporation, county office of education, or a partnership of multiple organizations of these types.

  • Status: assigned to Assembly Education Committee

AB 1336 AB 1366, Assembly Member, Lorena Gonzalez. Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled communications services. This bill would require that no department, agency, commission, or political subdivision of the state shall enact, adopt, or enforce any law, rule, regulation, ordinance, standard, order, or other provision having the force or effect of law, that regulates VoIP or other IP enabled service,

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states that this bill abandons oversight over broadband band monopolies. The recently introduced A.B. 1366 mirrors the FCC’s abandonment of consumers with one exception—California fought to establish its own net neutrality rules under S.B. 822 passed last year. Apart from that, A.B. 1366 removes any semblance of the state promoting competition for broadband access through its state regulator, the California Public Utility Commission (the state version of an FCC). Instead, it appears to just hope that our cable monopolies will be benevolent.

  • Status: Assigned to Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee

SB 2, Senators Glazer and Allen, Statewide Longitudinal Student-Database. Existing law establishes the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, which maintains pupil data regarding demographic, program participation, enrollment, and statewide assessments. This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to establish the Statewide Longitudinal Student-Database to collect and store data regarding individual students as they matriculate through P–20, as defined, and into the workforce. The bill would require the commission to convene a review committee for purposes of advising the commission on the establishment, implementation, funding, and ongoing administration of the database. The bill would express the intent of the Legislature that the development of the database be substantially completed on or before July 1, 2022. The bill would prohibit the commission from implementing the database if there is a determination, after consultation with the review committee, that the commission is unable to obtain necessary, reliable, and relevant data or protect individual privacy rights and confidentiality of the data.

  • Status: Senate Appropriations Committee: Ayes: 7; Noes: 0; Abstain: 0

AB 1409, Assembly Member, Ed Chau. California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund: homework gap projects. Existing law requires the PUC to develop, implement, and administer a program to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations. This bill, would establish a program to support elementary and high school pupils with after school access to broadband, to include service to schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals, health clinics, and community organizations, through the fund for homework gap projects.

  • Status: Assigned to Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee

AB 1303, Assembly Member, O’Donnell. California Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program: Strong Workforce Program. This bill would terminate the appropriation for the K-12 component of the Strong Workforce Program after the 2018-19 fiscal year and instead specify that, upon appropriation by the Legislature, $450,000,000 shall be made available for the California Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) Program to CDE for the 2018–19 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter. The bill would also add regional occupational centers or programs operated by county offices of education (COEs) to the entities authorized to be grant recipients under the program and, commencing with the 2019-20 fiscal year, reduce the required match from a grant recipient to a 1:1 match.

  • Status: assigned to Assembly Education Committee

AB 39 Assembly Members, Muratsuchi and McCarty. Local control funding formula funding increase. This bill would specify new, higher base grant amounts for the 2019–20 fiscal year, which would also increase the supplemental and concentration grant amounts and result in various other changes to funding calculations for purposes of the local control funding formula.

This is a new bill that ACSA is advocating amendments to add new targets for LCFF funding. An example could be to set aside funding the use of technology to support the overall Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

  • Status: Assigned to Assembly Education Committee

AB 488, Assembly Member. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry. California Broadband Council. Existing law establishes the California Broadband Council in state government for the purpose of promoting broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas of the state and broadband adoption throughout the state, imposes specified duties on the council relating to that purpose, and specifies the membership of the council. This bill would add the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, or the secretary’s designee, to the membership of the council.

SB 37, Assembly Member, Nancy Skinner. Corporate tax rates increased to benefit schools: This bill would increase the corporate income tax rate of the largest, most profitable corporations, and progressively increase the corporate tax rates on companies with large disparities between CEO pay and the pay of the average employee of the company. As stated in the bill it would “allow California to better fund its schools, early childhood care and education programs.”

  • Status: being introduced

CUE Advocacy Strategy: As opportunities arise, CUE continues to be proactive in the development, co-development, sponsorship, and support of state and Federal legislation and resolutions which are consistent with the CUE Legislative Advocacy Platform. The CUE Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC) meets periodically to take positions on relevant bills, resolutions, policies, and other related actions suggested by the CUE Legislative Consultant, Board Members, staff, and Committee members. Anyone who is interested in being involved in supporting the CUE advocacy effort should contact Mary Kopp, CUE Senior Program Manager, or John Cradler, For earlier Legislative Updates, click here.  

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