The Ohio Poverty law Center (OPLC) joins with the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Pro Seniors, and Communities United for Action (represented by the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio) in filing joint testimony with the Senate General Government and Agency Review Subcommittee seeking to change a provision in the House version of the budget bill (House Bill 4() which weakens the low-income Lifeline telephone rate discount program by eliminating the right to obtain unlimited flat rate telephone service (unlimited local calling) under the Lifeline program. Phone companion Ohio should offer Lifeline service to low-income customers at a flat rate for unlimited local calling because charging for local usage (such as by minutes of use) would adversely affect many low-income Lifeline consumers by increasing the amount they pay for local phone service. In fact, many consumers who qualify for Lifeline service can afford little more than food and rent, but need local phone service for essential communications with family, social services and medical providers. The change proposed by OPLC seat and other consumer advocates would preserve existing law which ensures that flat rate telephone service continues to be available to low-income consumers in Ohio. To download entire testimony, click here.
May 24, 2017