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State likes ring of no inmate-calls cost cap
By arkansasonline.com- Jeannie Roberts
Published: 06/19/2017

State officials are breathing a sigh of relief after a federal appeals court ruled last week that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in 2015 when it slashed and capped inmate telephone rates, effectively sapping millions of dollars from prison and jail budgets across the state and nation.

The 2-1 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stemmed from a lawsuit filed two years ago by nine attorneys general, including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who fought the 2015 FCC edict that inmate telephone rates be capped at no more than 11 cents per minute or $1.65 per 15 minutes for all local and long-distance calls.

"This order from the FCC was nothing less than a power grab that I am pleased to see much of invalidated," Rutledge said. "The FCC failed to consider numerous issues including costs that would have directly impacted the local budgets of cities and counties across Arkansas."

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