Louisiana's Opt-Out Franchising Provision In Judge's Hands

Local governments and video providers should find out by Nov. 3 if a Louisiana state court judge will accept language in the state's new franchising law that allows incumbent operators to opt out of current local contracts.

The law was challenged in August, after it was signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal but two days before it was to go into effect, by municipalities and the Police Jury Association of Louisiana, the trade group for parishes there.

Parishes and municipalities argue that the bill, which moves franchising authority to the secretary of state's office, violates the Louisiana constitution. The constitution prevents the state from passing laws that "extinguish" obligations between local governments and companies. Municipal officials argue that "obligations" means contracts, and that franchises are contracts.

Published: November 1st, 2008

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