President’s Message: August 2023 Now Is The Time To Take Advantage of JAG – We Don’t Mind
by Bob Duthaler
Have you been paying attention to new and pending legislation that could affect our industry? Well JAG has, especially our legislative committee. That committee, under the leadership of Dave Garb, has been working with our partners at NATOA and the ACM to keep track of such legislation and are informing not only our members, but leadership throughout the state and the New Jersey League of Municipalities. I urge you to read our special legislative newsletter that has been sent out. You can also find it on the JAG website, or click on this link: https://jagonline.org/2023-newsletters/
Your board is also actively following pending legislation as well. Please go back in your email inbox and revisit the email I sent the membership on June 14, 2023. This email explains the pending legislation H.R. 3557 and why we, NATOA, ACM and dozens of other organizations oppose it. I urge you again to send the information cited in the email to your Mayor and Council, Planning and Zoning Boards, as well as your clerk and administration. There are elements in H.R. 3557 that will impact local government on many levels. While searching your email, please check on an email sent from Dave Garb on July 5, 2023 which includes a sample resolution which may be used as a template to oppose H.R. 3557. Again, I urge you to distribute that information as well.
The JAG Executive Board, along with the External Relations committee, under the direction of Geoffrey Belinfante, has been working with the New Jersey League of Municipalities to bring three different sessions to the League’s upcoming conference in November. One of the sessions will be on the Broadband Deployment Act. Learn how funding will be distributed, and what to expect for areas in which there is little to no broadband, along with areas that are underserved. The panel will consist of members from the New Jersey Broadband Deployment team, and broadband companies and attorneys who are closely following this on a national and local level. There will also be another joint session with the NJLOM and JAG on H.R. 3557. This will be a chance for local leaders to learn more about this legislation, the lack of local control in deployment and the threat to local franchises, fees and grants. Finally, JAG will present a session on moving beyond cable. Learn more about OTT, social media video trends and much more. In the upcoming months we will share more about these sessions when the exact times and dates are announced. JAG membership has a few other ways to learn about several other items that will impact the way we operate our stations and distribute information to our communities. Some of these items include closed captioning, high-definition cable channels and streaming capabilities. Over the course of the next few months, we will explore these and more. Attend our monthly JAG Meetings (last Wednesday of each month), upcoming webinars, and special managers round table discussions. It is there that we will discuss these topics, explore solutions, and hear from specialists and from each other. These are “must-attend” events that JAG works hard to put together in order to educate and inform our members. Please take advantage of them. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meeting in September and at all future JAG events. Should you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org