WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott
Pruitt has announced the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in response
to his lawsuit, has issued an order that will save the state millions of dollars by
partially relieving state and local agencies from federal regulations that
Pruitt believes are unlawful.
The FCC had attempted to regulate the telephone rates
charged to inmates for intrastate calls from prisons and county jails. Current
federal law dictates that the FCC can only regulate interstate calls, however.
According to Pruitt, the FCC ignored this limitation and issued rate caps for
instate inmate calls.
“We will continue to fight the price controls set by the FCC
for in-state calls because they represent yet another unlawful federal
intrusion into state authority,” Pruitt said. “I am pleased to work with states
and sheriffs from around the country and across party lines to vindicate state
and local control over how we run and fund our jails and prisons.”
Pruitt says the lawsuit is necessary because without it, state prisons would lose millions of dollars. The FCC’s action,
according to Pruitt, would also jeopardize important inmate welfare programs.
“It is a shame that it took a major lawsuit and several
losses in court for the FCC to even begin listening to the concerns of county
jails and state prisons about the arbitrariness of their actions,” Pruitt said.