How much does your ISP spend on lobbying?

A photo illustration of a city's internet connections. (Image: metamorworks, via Shutterstock)

Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and 2018 was the biggest year so far with a total spend of more than $80 million. Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

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Opinion

Proposed scrap metal recycling rules poorly thought out

A big claw crane drops scrap onto a pile. (Photo: llucky78, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Imagine if a government agency required nurses to endure the same costly and lengthy training as surgeons. Such overreach would result in fewer nurses and the demand for such skilled labor would reach a crisis.  While this extraordinary overreach is not occurring in the health care industry, it is when it comes to California’s regulation of the scrap metal recycling industry.

News

Does public banking loom in California?

A branch of Bank of America in Beverly Hills. (Photo: 4kclips, via Shutterstock)

By law, currently California cities and counties typically have one place to deposit the funds they collect from taxes, fees and fines: private commercial banks. Billions of dollars of public money are handled by commercial banks — for a fee. Despite having billions of dollars banked, municipalities have no say in how their money is used by commercial banks. Bank management, owners and stockholders set policy.

Opinion

Loan rate-cap bill would harm consumers

A loan document ready to be signed. (Photo: Lane V. Erickson, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The California Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill that caps consumer loan rates and threatens to sever a vital credit lifeline for many. Oddly, three commercial lenders who offer the kind of loans subject to this regulation support it.Assembly Bill 539 would cap the interest rate at 36% plus the federal funds rate on loans of more than $2,500 but less than $10,000.

News

Stem cell agency halts new grant applications

A stem cell researcher with microscope and digital tablet. (Photo: moreimages, via Shutterstock)

The $3 billion California stem cell agency, which is running out of cash, has served notice that it would stop accepting applications for more research awards beginning next month. The low key announcement on Thursday is another step towards the looming demise of the 14-year-old agency, created by voters in November 2004.

News

Amid jitters, experts eye potential California recession

A 3D rendering of stock indices in open space. (Image: Vitaly Sosnofsky)

There are clouds on California’s economic horizon, but whether they herald a coming recession is uncertain. The experts agree that there is a slowdown, but there is little consensus beyond that.

Opinion

California can design the future of work

Workers on the job at a construction site. (Photo: fuyu liu, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As Californians, we should write the history we want – by strategically and pragmatically addressing the present economic challenges in a way that enables the next generation of Californians to thrive. Gov. Newsom this month announced the creation of the Commission on the Future of Work, and this is a powerful opportunity to align new policies and new politics.

Opinion

California must tackle skyrocketing drug prices

A pharmacist puts medications on the shelves of his store. (Photo: viewfinder, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: We’ve seen the stories of Pharma Bro, we’ve read about Big Pharma’s Q1 profit margins. What drug companies are trying to keep secret though, is Pay-for-Delay, a sneaky tactic that brand name and generic drug companies are using – and getting away with — that costs Americans $3.5 billion per year in higher health care costs.

News

Panel okays voting rights for former prisoners, parolees

Visitors in the former federal prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. (Photo: Benny Marty, via Shutterstock)

Former state and federal prisoners, including those on parole, would have the right to vote in California, under a constitutional amendment approved by an Assembly committee. The measure, ACA 6, was approved Wednesday by the Democrat-controlled Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee in a 6-1 vote. The final decision will be made by voters.

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