Satellite Home Viewer Act Will Allow Rural Residents to Receive Local TV Programming; Dairy Language Allows Option 1-A and Dairy Compact to Continue

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced in a statement on the Senate floor that the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that the Senate is likely to approve today contains "good news for rural New Yorkers." The Omnibus contains both the Satellite Home Viewer Act and language regarding the Dairy Compact. The dairy language in the bill allows both Option 1A and the New England Dairy Compact to continue.

The Satellite Home Viewer Act will allow rural residents the ability to once again receive their local television programming, including local news, weather and community interest stories. The bill will allow satellite providers to beam local stations to residents in local areas. Current broadcast retransmission laws prohibit satellite service providers from doing so.

"I have had constituent after constituent in areas like Allegany County and Steuben County and throughout New York State and rural areas tell me that all of a sudden that they were unable to receive overthe air signals to receive local programs," said Schumer. "I am delighted to say that half a million New York residents will now be able to get their local signal from their satellite."

Further action on the Satellite Home Viewer Act is expected next year. The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold hearings to ensure that multiservice providers are encouraged to extend competition.

"I want to work with my colleagues to ensure that my constituents in Upstate and rural New York and Central New York and the Southern Tier and in Western New York and in the North Country have the same viewing options as those downstate," said Schumer.

The Omnibus Appropriations Bill also includes dairy language that continues the New England Dairy Compact without extending it to any other states, and calls for the implementation of the Option 1A milk pricing structure. Option 1A will save New York's dairy farmers at least $30 million per year, the single largest gain of any state.

"In the last decade, New York State has lost onethird of its dairy farms, 13,000 to 8,600," Schumer said today. "The Dairy Compact and Option 1A will help my state and region retain this vital and cherished industry."

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