Net neutrality may be in grave peril at the federal level, but states like Washington are stepping up to protect the idea of a free and open Internet.
By a vote of ninety-three to five, the House of Representatives on Friday adopted legislation that would safeguard net neutrality at the state level. SHB 2282, prime sponsored by State Representative Drew Hansen (D‑23rd District: Bainbridge Island) would prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful content. It would also prohibit “paid prioritization” schemes.
“The net neutrality rules have been protecting a free and open internet for some years now, and today’s vote shows we have broad bipartisan support for maintaining these protections for Washington consumers even after they go away at the federal level,” said Hansen in a statement.
Hansen worked to build support for the bill with his Republican colleague Representative Norma Smith of Whidbey Island.
“This is about preserving a fair and free internet so all Washingtonians can participate equally in the 21st century economy,” said Smith.
“I am heartened by the overwhelming show of support this bill received today, and am proud to have worked closely with Representative Hansen to ensure we are protecting everyone in Washington state from the unintended consequences of a consolidation of power,” she added. “Net neutrality is an issue of tremendous importance that will matter today, tomorrow and generations from now. We have to get this right, and today was a good first step.”
We strongly agree and we thank Representatives Hansen and Smith for bringing this bill to the floor and ensuring it sailed out of the House with strong support.
The roll call on SHB 2282 was as follows:
Yeas: 93; Nays: 5
Voting Yea: Representatives Appleton, Barkis, Bergquist, Blake, Caldier, Chandler, Chapman, Clibborn, Cody, Condotta, DeBolt, Dent, Doglio, Dolan, Eslick, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Goodman, Graves, Gregerson, Griffey, Haler, Hansen, Hargrove, Harmsworth, Harris, Hayes, Holy, Hudgins, Irwin, Jenkin, Jinkins, Johnson, Kagi, Kilduff, Kirby, Klippert, Kloba, Kraft, Kretz, Kristiansen, Lovick, Lytton, MacEwen, Macri, Manweller, Maycumber, McBride, McCabe, McCaslin, McDonald, Morris, Muri, Nealey, Orcutt, Ormsby, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Pellicciotti, Peterson, Pettigrew, Pike, Pollet, Reeves, Riccelli, Robinson, Rodne, Ryu, Santos, Sawyer, Schmick, Sells, Senn, Shea, Slatter, Smith, Springer, Stambaugh, Stanford, Steele, Stonier, Sullivan, Tarleton, Taylor, Tharinger, Valdez, Van Werven, Volz, Walsh, Wylie, Young, Chopp
Voting Nay: Representatives Buys, Dye, Stokesbary, Vick, Wilcox
Five Republicans — Vincent Buys, Mary Due, Drew Stokesbary, Brandon Vick, and J.T. Wilcox — voted against the bill. Every other member of the House voted aye.
The House passed a different net neutrality bill last session, but it went nowhere in the Senate because Senate Republicans were not interested in it.
Now that the Senate is under Democratic management, the bill has a good chance of passing and reaching Governor Inslee’s desk. We’ll certainly be doing our part to make that happen. Net neutrality is the key to keeping the Internet free and open.