Battle brewing over Louisiana's free cell program - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Battle brewing over Louisiana's free cell program


Earlier this month, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter introduced legislation that would end subsidized mobile phone service.

This week, Safelink Wireless, one company that provides the cell phones, sent out text messages to save the Lifeline subsidy.

The company also encouraged users to contact Louisiana's other senator, Mary Landrieu, to fight for the free phone service.

Lifeline was created in 1984 to expand landline services to low-income households. The program expanded in 2008 to include wireless service providers.

Vitter says the $2.2 billion dollar program lacks oversight and is unfair to taxpayers.

"It is unfortunate when these programs become so expansive that it no longer addresses its primary mission to help those with the most dire needs," Vitter says.

The bill is waiting for the go-ahead by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid to bring it to the senate floor for a vote.

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