Monday, March 9, 2009

Marcel Black and Your Phone Bill

Do you live in a rural area? Do you have land line telephone service? Then Marcel Black has something for you: A probable increase in your monthly telephone bill.

Currently, AT&T is the largest provider of telephone services in the State of Alabama. One would assume that this mega-company is doing well, considering that designation; however, they feel they could do even better if the state would completely deregulate telephone service.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham and Rep. Marcel Black of Tuscumbia recently introduced a bill that would indeed remove every vestige of regulation for telephone companies. Both Smitherman and Black are members of the Commerce, Utilities, and Transportation Committee, an entity of wide influence in Alabama business.

The bill passed the committee on a voice vote and is now before the Senate. Interestingly, Alabama Attorney General Troy King, usually a staunch proponent of such deregulation, opposes this bill on the basis of what it is apt to do in the rural sector.

One has to wonder what's in it for Marcel Black, he who has already voted himself a 62% raise and redecorated his office at taxpayer expense.

What's up with this: Rep. Tammy Irons of Lauderdale County is one of six state legislators who have not made public their stance on the Compassionate Care Bill. Whether she is for or against this bill, surely there can be no reason for keeping her opinion under wraps until the actual vote.