Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and House Speaker Larry Adair Monday announced plans to study the issue of deregulation of telecommunications in the coming legislative interim.
The announcement effectively shelves Senate Bill 1119 in this Legislature.
“This is one of the most complex business issues that we’ve ever considered. And it doesn’t just affect dozens of companies – both large and small -- but every Oklahoman. Before we make a dramatic change in state law, we owe it to the rate payers of this state to make sure we totally understand what is at stake for both the companies that offer telephone services and the people who pay phone bills,” said Hobson, D-Lexington.
“There has been much work done on this issue, however there are still many questions left unanswered,” said Adair, D-Stilwell. “With little time remaining in the legislative session the best course of action is to send this measure to a committee that will work to satisfy everyone’s concerns.”
The deregulation of telephone service in Oklahoma is the subject of Senate Bill 1119, which would amend the Oklahoma Telecommunications Act of 1997. Both the title and the enacting clause on the legislation have been stricken and the bill is destined for a joint House-Senate conference committee. Hobson and Adair said their announcement means the bill won’t emerge from conference this year.