Amid the historic protests in Chicago last week (at which some members of CMA were arrested), I found out that a bill was wending its way through the Illinois state legislature, which would have killed the funding for public access TV broadcasting in Illinois. When I heard this, I steeled myself: hoo-boy, another fight. But not impossible; we've won fights like before. And then, before just as I was about to get to work on this, I got word:
SENATOR DAN CRONIN WITHDRAWS SB1345
3/20/03 Public access television supporters celebrate a victory today. Senator Dan Cronin rose on the Senate floor on Thursday, March 20, 2003 to withdraw SB1345, a bill that would have cut funding for public access facilities throughout the state. The Senator's press release noted that Senator Cronin is a long time supporter of access programs and the host of his own access show on educational issues. Says Cronin, "I will not be calling the bill to the Senate floor for a vote and it has been stricken from the Senate calendar."
Thanks to everyone who went to bat so quickly on this and helped to stop this adverse legislation cold. The bill was moving fast through the Senate based on representations by the cable industry that it was a harmless bill. Quick action was imperative. All week public, educational and governmental access supporters throughout the state have been working to stop SB1345. The combined efforts paid off.
This close call reinforces the importance of informing our elected officials about the work being done by local citizens and nonprofit groups using public access television channels.
I have just one word to say: Whew!
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