January 30, 2018: Net Neutrality and Abortion Ban

Overview:

  • SB-460, a California bill that would implement net neutrality protections at the state level, passed the California Senate yesterday.
  • S. 2311, a federal bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, was effectively killed in the Senate yesterday.

Details/Context:

SB-460 - California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018:

SB-460 passed the California Senate yesterday, January 29, 2018, on a vote of 21-12. One Democrat (Richard D. Roth, D-31) voted against the bill. No Republicans voted for it. Within San Diego County, Senators Bates (R-36) and Anderson (R-38) voted against the bill, and Senators Atkins (D-39) and Hueso (D-40) voted for the bill.

SB-460, if enacted, would prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking lawful content, impairing or degrading lawful Internet traffic, or engaging in paid prioritization of Internet traffic to any customer. It would also prohibit any state agency from contracting with an ISP unless the ISP certifies that it will not engage in such activities.

At the federal level, the FCC broadly repealed net neutrality protections that had been implemented during the Obama presidency. The FCC's "Restoring Internet Freedom" order was adopted on December 14, 2017. In addition to repealing existing net neutrality regulations, the FCC order also pre-empted states from implementing or enforcing net neutrality laws. A group of 21 state attorneys have filed suit against the FCC to challenge the FCC's net neutrality repeal and pre-emption of state laws.

SB-460 is now headed to the California Assembly, where it can first be considered by committees in early March 2018.

Relevant Links:

Look up your CA state representatives here: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

Call Script for CA Assembly Members:

"Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in [your city/town]. My ZIP code is [zip code]. I'm calling to urge [Assembly Member's name] to vote Yes on SB-460. Net neutrality is critically important to California's economy and our vibrant Internet culture, and I expect [Assembly Member's name] to do everything possible to protect and promote an open Internet. Thank you."

Call Script for CA Senators Who Voted FOR SB-460:

"Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in [your city/town]. My ZIP code is [zip code]. I'm calling to thank [Senator's name] for voting in favor of SB-460. Net neutrality protections are necessary for an open Internet and healthy online economy, so I'm glad to know that [Senator's name] is looking out for Californians on that issue. Thank you."

Call Script for CA Senators Who Voted AGAINST SB-460:

"Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in [your city/town]. My ZIP code is [zip code]. I'm calling to express my disappointment with [Senator's name] for voting against SB-460. Net neutrality protections are necessary both to promote our online businesses and California's economy and to protect the freedom of expression that we as Americans require. Thank you."

S. 2311: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:

Yesterday, January 29, 2018, the US Senate voted down a motion of cloture on S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. If enacted, S. 2311 would have broadly banned abortions after 20 weeks, and would have instituted a number of new restrictions on when and how abortions could be performed before 20 weeks.

The Senate voted 51 to 46 on the motion of cloture, short of the 60-vote requirement to pass such a motion. A motion of cloture limits debate on a bill, shutting down a potential filibuster. Because of the controversial nature of this bill, lacking cloture in the Senate effectively renders it inactive.

Three Senate Democrats (Casey, D-PA; Donnelly, D-IN; Manchin, D-WV) voted for the cloture motion. Two Republicans (Collins, R-ME; Murkowski, R-AK) voted against it.

Relevant Links:

Look up your US Senators' contact information here: contactingcongress.org

Call Script for Senators Who Voted AGAINST Cloture:

"Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in [your city/town]. My ZIP code is [zip code]. I'm calling to thank [Senator's name] for standing up for women's rights by voting against the cloture motion on S. 2311. Women's reproductive rights are human rights, so I'm glad to know I can count on [Senator's name] to do the right thing. Thank you."

Call Script for Senators Who Voted FOR Cloture:

"Hi, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in [your city/town]. My ZIP code is [zip code]. I'm calling to express my disappointment with [Senator's name] for voting for the cloture motion on S. 2311. This federal 20-week abortion ban was not only unconstitutional but also would have jeopardized women's health and physicians' ability to care for their patients. Thank you."