Pallone and Rush Applaud House Passage of the Martha Wright-Reed Act
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) released the following statement after the House passed S. 1541, the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022, the companion bill to Rush’s H.R. 2489, the Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice Act:
“We’re thrilled that the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act is now on its way to the President’s desk. This important legislation requires the FCC to limit exorbitant correctional facility phone costs so that people in jails and prisons can stay connected with their support system – a well-documented way to produce better outcomes and lower rates of recidivism nationwide,” said Pallone and Rush. “Exorbitant phone fees only serve to line industry pockets and harm families, but now that predatory practice will come to an end. We’re grateful to our colleagues for supporting this important work and look forward to the relief this will provide millions of families across the country.”
The Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act clarifies the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to prevent predatory rates and fees charged for calls made to and from correctional facilities. It directs the FCC to promulgate rules to ensure that the rates and fees charged for certain communications services, like phone and video calls, be just and reasonable.
A diverse group of stakeholders supported passage of this bill including Color Of Change, United Church of Christ’s Media Justice Ministry, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the National Sheriffs’ Association.