GOP state senators in Connecticut block net neutrality bill with procedural trick

GOP state senators in Connecticut block net neutrality bill with procedural trick
© Greg Nash

Republican state senators in Connecticut used a procedural trick to block a bill that would let the state regulate the internet.

The bill failed in the state's Energy and Technology Committee, according to the Connecticut Post.

The committee includes two state Senate Democrats and two state Senate Republicans. When House members are included, Democrats have a majority in the committee.

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Sen. Paul Formica (R), co-chairman of the panel, split the committee so only the senators were allowed to vote. With two senators voting against the measure and two voting for it, the bill failed in the committee, according to the Post.

“It was something that we think is a federal issue and we think should be handled at the federal level,” said Formica. “We didn’t want to subject our state to any lawsuits which we knew would be coming.”

“At this point it seemed to be the proper procedure to just end the conversation,” he said.

The measure being discussed in Connecticut came after the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

In repealing the net neutrality rules, the FCC included a provision in its order forbidding states from filling the void with their own rules.

Last month, Washington became the first state in the country to pass its own net neutrality law, forbidding internet service providers from blocking or throttling web content, or from charging websites for higher delivery speeds.

The FCC is facing its own legal challenge from net neutrality supporters. Attorneys general in nearly two-dozen states, joined by public interest groups and internet companies, have sued to overturn the repeal.