Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PSC Commissioner Presley raises constitutional concerns in letter to AT&T bill sponsor Rep. Jim Beckett

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) released a copy of his letter to Rep. Jim Beckett (R - Bruce) today, in which Presley raises a new concern over Beckett's HB825: constitutionality.

It's an interesting point that Presley makes.  Section 186 of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 reads as follows:
The Legislature shall pass laws to prevent abuses, unjust discrimination, and extortion in all charges of express, telephone, sleeping-car, telegraph, and railroad companies, and shall enact laws for the supervision of railroads, express, telephone, telegraph, sleeping-car companies, and other common carriers in this State, by commission or otherwise, and shall provide adequate penalties, to the extent, if necessary for that purpose, of forfeiture of their franchises. (Emphasis added.)
Therefore, it seems to me that the Legislature is out of luck if it wants to let AT&T do as it pleases without regulation.  It's pretty plainly against the state constitution.

I bet that wasn't brought up over dinner or on the tee box out in Scottsdale.

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