(BOSTON) – On January 26, 2022 at its Annual Meeting, MassAccess presented Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull) with the organization’s Legislator of the Year award for her work to support community media centers. During the virtual meeting, Executive Director of Winchester Community Access and Media, David Gauthier introduced Representative Meschino and presented her with the award.
The award recognizes Representative Meschino’s advocacy for community media centers, and in particular her efforts to pass H.130, An Act relative to a streaming entertainment operator’s use of the public rights-of-way. The legislation seeks to align the successful franchise fee system with the current era of digital streaming, modernizing the obligations to entertainment providers who are using public rights of way (telephone poles, conduits, sidewalks, etc.) to deliver their product. Following the model of cable franchises, the bill would impose a 5% fee on digital streaming providers which are using public rights of way in order to sell their services to Massachusetts residents. Monies would be collected at the state level twice a year and then distributed to the community media centers, to the municipalities and to the state general fund. Were Massachusetts to enact this legislation, the state would be following in the footsteps of many others which have already imposed a similar fee on streaming services to support the public infrastructure upon which they rely. Other states include Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Washington.
In the 3rd Plymouth District, our community media centers remain vibrant hubs of connectivity. Before and throughout the pandemic, community media was critical to our efforts to stay connected and informed on the local level. Learn more about our local media centers here:
“I am honored to receive this year’s Legislator of the Year Award from MassAccess,” said Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “As we work to advance H.130, I look forward to a continued partnership with MassAccess and our local media centers. These centers are pillars of our communities, and they deserve to be supported by the sustainable revenue that would flow from this legislation.”
H.130 is pending before the Joint Committee on Advanced Information, the Internet, and Technology, and Representative Meschino continues her work to advance the bill.