An Indiana House bill is threatening your access to local government.
The bill targets franchise fees you see on your cable bill.
Eliminating it would save you money, but would mean the end of local access TV.
Your cable companies Comcast and Frontier charge you a small fee of around $5.
It's a small fee, but it adds up.
It raises millions each year for Fort Wayne, and funds Access Fort Wayne- the area's public and government access channels.
But satellite customers aren't charged the fee--
Since their signals go through the air- not in the ground, in the city's right of ways.
Cable companies say that's not fair, and House Bill 1432 would get rid of that fee.
"If 1432 were to pass, it would be devastating to all of the access centers throughout Indiana," Access Fort Wayne Assistant Manager Erik Mollberg says.
Franchise fees make up most of Access Fort Wayne's funding.
It airs city and county council meetings, planning meetings, and public works meetings.
Mollberg says if the bill passes, it would mean the end of local government on TV.
And yes, he says, people are watching.
"Seventy-five percent of the viewership of the access channels are watching city council meetings. City council meetings are number one," says Mollberg.
We reached out to our local state representatives for their thoughts.
House newcomer Martin Carbaugh says he worked at a public access station in high school.
He thinks the house can find a solution to retain funding.
"I think thing there's value, so I hesitate with their funding coming from that, but I also do understand the cable companies' position of satellites don't have to pay the fee when they do," Representative Carbaugh says.
Access Fort Wayne can only be found, interestingly enough, on local cable providers Comcast and Frontier--
The same companies who want franchise fees wiped out.