Nebraska becomes first red state to introduce pro-net neutrality legislation

Nebraska becomes first red state to introduce pro-net neutrality legislation
© Greg Nash

Nebraska is now the first Republican-controlled state to launch its own attempt to save net neutrality rules.

On Friday, state Sen. Adam Morfeld (D) introduced legislation in the state legislature to enshrine net neutrality regulations in law on the state level.

Morfeld’s bill would keep broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast from slowing down or blocking internet content and from cutting deals with content companies to give them faster connection speeds.

It’s unclear how likely that the bill is to pass in Nebraska, but Morfeld told The Lincoln Star Journal that it has already received bipartisan support from other state lawmakers.

California, Washington, New York and Massachusetts are also considering adopting their own net neutrality rules after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai (R) successfully spearheaded a move to scrap the federal regulations in December.

Even if they make it through state legislatures, the legislation may face other challenges. In its order to scrap net neutrality rules, the FCC notes that its measures preclude net neutrality regulations on the state level. 

Other lawmakers and state officials are planning their own efforts to preserve net neutrality rules as well.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) plans on leading a coalition of other states’ attorneys general in filing a lawsuit to keep the rules.  

In Congress, Sen. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyCivilian Climate Corps can help stem rural-urban divide Senate votes to nix Trump rule limiting methane regulation Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap MORE (D-Mass.) is leading an effort to launch a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution in an attempt to reverse Pai’s plan to scrap net neutrality rules.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemings asked about Senate run after sparring with Jordan on police funding Republicans fret over divisive candidates Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP MORE (D-Mo.) agreed on Monday to become the CRA’s 30th co-sponsor — the minimum amount to ensure that it will receive a vote on the senate floor.