Calif. state lawmaker accuses fellow Dem of 'gutting' net neutrality bill

Calif. state lawmaker accuses fellow Dem of 'gutting' net neutrality bill
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A California state lawmaker who authored legislation that would replace the FCC’s net neutrality rules is accusing fellow legislators of “gutting” the bill with amendments.

“What happened today was outrageous,” Sen. Scott Wiener (D) said in a statement Wednesday after an Assembly committee rewrote his legislation. “These hostile amendments eviscerate the bill and leave us with a net neutrality bill in name only."

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Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D), the chairman of the Communications and Conveyance Committee, told Wiener that the new version of the bill could be used to start a dialogue, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We both believe a net neutrality bill should get out,” Santiago said. “I’m willing to continue to engage. It’s unfair to assume that this committee should not have input.”

An AT&T lobbyist who testified before the committee called Wiener's bill “extreme,” according to the Times.

“In negotiations leading up to the committee hearing, I expressed a willingness to negotiate the provisions of the bills - and I remain willing to negotiate - but I can’t support a weak version of net neutrality that eliminates critical provisions,” Wiener said in Wednesday's statement.

Wiener's legislation had been considered the gold standard for net neutrality bills being promoted across the country in the wake of the FCC’s repeal of the Obama-era regulations.

“California should lead by example and enact the strongest net neutrality protections in the country,” Wiener said. “Passing a weak, neutered bill is exactly the wrong direction for our state.”