|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 53rd district
|Assumed office |
December 1, 2014
|Preceded by||John Pérez|
|Born||March 3, 1973|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
Miguel Santiago (born March 3, 1973) is an American politician, currently serving in the California State Assembly, where he serves as chairman of the Communications and Conveyance Committee. Santiago is a Democrat representing the 53rd Assembly District, which encompasses parts of Downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles.
Santiago is a member of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2014, he was a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. He also served as District Director to former Assembly Speaker John Pérez.
Net Neutrality Bill Co-Authorship
Santiago co-authored S.B. 822 alongside Senator Scott Wiener, legislation that would strengthen net neutrality protections in California. Hours after being signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, a Motion for Preliminary Injunction was filed by the Department of Justice. Both parties have agreed to wait until a separate court case in the D.C. Circuit Court is decided before moving on. As part of the agreement, the law is not currently being enforced and the injunction was withdrawn.
After passing the California Senate, S.B. 822 was amended by Miguel Santiago in June 2018. SB-822 would restore Obama-era rules that the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission rolled back in December, 2017. Santiago's amendments removed all provisions of the bill's net neutrality protections that were not in the text of the 2015 Open Internet Order, leaving in only those that were in the two-pages of rules. This prompted the bill's original sponsor, Senator Scott Wiener, to pull his support for his own bill and declare that it had been "hijacked" and that he was "not interested in passing a bill that is watered down so severely."  The changes also included deleting a large section of definitions, which critics claim could make it more difficult for California's attorney general to prosecute violations of the legislation.
The amendments, published less than 12 hours before the hearing, were approved 8-0 by the Communications and Conveyance committee, which Santiago chairs, on June 20, 2018. That vote occurred before Wiener could argue against them and before any testimony. After the testimony, the amended bill was approved 8-2. Opponents of the amended version stated that Santiago's changes would create loopholes through which broadband providers could charge fees to content providers while exempting their own content from any data caps. Proponents of the changes contend that without them broadband providers would not be allowed to offer free mobile data that doesn't count against users' caps, harming consumers, and that net neutrality in general would discourage providers from improving their network infrastructure. Representatives of major ISPs continue to oppose the bill, even in its amended form.
State Assemblyman Miguel Santiago has received over $60,000 from telecom lobbyists, with AT&T and Comcast being the top telecom contributors, over the course of his assembly career. However, Wiener said that despite the "strenuous disagreement here, [...] it’s not about campaign contributions" and that the telecoms "spent a lot of money in California targeting members with Twitter and Facebook ads, doing robo-calls to seniors telling them their bills are going to go up, that this bill is going to make your monthly payment go up. They flooded the capitol with lobbyists."
On June 6, 2018, Santiago released a press statement saying that his amendments were intended to help "deliver a bill that could withstand legal challenges from the telecommunications industry" and that "we ran out of time" to reach an agreement with Wiener. Knowing Wiener would not support the changes, the committee "took action to insert amendments without his consent to keep the bill moving." Santiago expressed regret at the "legislative maneuverings" required to advance the bill and that he does not "envision policy being created in this manner." The public response was intense, and Santiago stated that his family had received threats and that offensive memes smearing his wife and children had been shared online. 
2014 California State Assembly
|Democratic||Michelle "Hope" Walker||1,964||11.7|
|Democratic||Michael "Mike" Aldapa||1,423||8.5|
2016 California State Assembly
|Democratic||Miguel Santiago (incumbent)||22,254||45.1|
|Democratic||Kevin H. Jang||6,688||13.6|
|Democratic||Miguel Santiago (incumbent)||50,958||58.2|
2018 California State Assembly
|Democratic||Miguel Santiago (incumbent)||24,134||69.0|
|Democratic||Kevin Hee Young Jang||5,779||16.5|
|Libertarian||Michael A. Lewis||2,710||7.7|
|Democratic||Rae Elisabeth Henry||2,367||6.8|
|Democratic||Miguel Santiago (incumbent)||57,388||71.4|
|Democratic||Kevin Hee Young Jang||23,002||28.6|
- "Welcome to the Committee on Communications and Conveyance - Committee on Communications and Conveyance". acom.assembly.ca.gov.
- "Member Directory - California Latino Legislative Caucus". latinocaucus.legislature.ca.gov.
- "Miguel Santiago". laccd.edu.
- "Miguel Santiago". www.laccd.edu.
- "Bill Votes". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Lawmaker Changes Cloud Calif. Net Neutrality Bill Outlook". Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "Failing the Real Test: SB 822 No Longer Restores All the Lost Net Neutrality Protections". cyberlaw.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "Telecom-Backed Democrat in California Just "Mutilated" Nation's Strongest State Net Neutrality Bill". Common Dreams.
- "Senator Wiener's Statement on Gutting of Net Neutrality Bill in Assembly Committee". Senator Scott Wiener. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- Falcon, Ernesto (20 June 2018). "Corruption at the Assembly Committee Gutted California's Net Neutrality". Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- "Bill Votes". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee - Jun 20th, 2018". calchannel.granicus.com. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- Healey, Jon. "Telecom companies just flexed their muscles and neutered a California net neutrality bill". latimes.com.
- Finley, Klint (21 June 2018). "California Net Neutrality Bill Was 'Hijacked,' Lawmaker Says" – via www.wired.com.
- "Net neutrality is fine, but don't ban special offers for free broadband data" – via Sacramento Bee.
- "SB 822 - C&C Assembly Contributions". Google Docs.
- "Assemblymember Miguel Santiago Issues Statement on Net Neutrality". Official Website - Assemblymember Miguel Santiago Representing the 53rd California Assembly District. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
- "California lawmaker faces harsh attacks over net neutrality". charlotteobserver. Retrieved 2018-06-22.