If you have cable TV, you’re already paying a 5 percent fee that goes to state government. Wednesday night, an Illinois Senate panel voted to add that same fee to satellite TV service.
Cable companies say this would level the playing field between the two types of TV providers. But Damon Stewart, a lobbyist for DirecTV and other satellite companies, says the cable industry is just trying to get a leg up on its competition. He says cable has tried — and failed — to get similar laws across the country.
“Why? Because those state legislatures viewed this attempt for what it is: simply a way to get an unfair advantage over their main competitor, the satellite industry,” Stewart says.
The Democrats on the Senate committee were not persuaded by that argument. They say the fee would create “parity” in the TV industry. They plan to use the new revenue to bolster state funding for education.
Thea measure, House Bill 5440, now goes before the full Senate.