Republican state senators in Connecticut used a procedural trick to kill a bill that would have allowed the state to regulate the internet following the repeal of net neutrality rules, the Connecticut Post reports.
The bill died in the Energy and Technology Committee after co-chair Sen. Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, kept members of the state House from voting on it. Democrats hold a majority in the committee including House members, so Formica used his authority to restrict the vote to state senators only. The committee has four senators, two Democrats and two Republicans, which led to a tie and the bill's failure.
"It was something that we think is a federal issue and we think should be handled at the federal level," Formica told the Post. "We didn't want to subject our state to any lawsuits which we knew would be coming."
He added, "At this point it seemed to be the proper procedure to just end the conversation."
His Democratic co-chair, Sen. Gary Winfield of New Haven, described Formica's decision as "highly unusual" and "stunning," adding that, "It was chaos. If you want a bill to die, just like if you want a bill to succeed, you should have the votes for it to die or succeed. I'm not saying that they don't have the right (to split the committee) because the rules allow for the procedure, but I think it's cleaner if you vote it up or down."
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