The Legislative Committee on Constitutional Law held a hearing on a bill introduced by Rep. Birmingham that would memorialize Congress in favor of legislation that would assure states of their authority over intrastate utility business, reported the Springfield Republican (Feb. 5, 1931, p. 15).
Wallace H. Walker, secretary of the Public Franchise League, spoke in favor of Birmingham’s bill. He said that passage of the bill would “prevent local utilities from jumping into federal courts before they had taken advantage of their rights of appeal to state courts.”
Walker said that if the bill would aid in passage of federal legislation to make utilities companies take advantage of the rights in state courts.
The Massachusetts Gas and Electric Association opposed the bill, arguing that even if the federal legislation were enacted, it would not prevent state utilities from asking federal courts to review their cases and that the right of appeal to state courts is very limited.