This is the last week for House committees to hear House bills and for Senate committees to hear Senate bills. Consequently, the agendas are very long on almost all committees. There is a lot of opportunity on Request to Speak (RTS). The groups like Civic Engagement Beyond Voting, Sierra Club and others do an *amazing* job of telling you what’s going on, and we sincerely appreciate all of your comments and votes on RTS and their hard work.
Unfortunately, because of the sheer volume of BS bills proposed in the Legislature, volunteer groups can’t keep up with everything.￼ ￼
I have many constituents in Midtown Tucson who are upset with the preemption Bill regarding four and 5G towers that was passed by the legislature in 2017. There are two more telecom industry preemption/tax break bills in the House now.￼ These bills are not on any of the popular distribution lists.
HB2711 is on the Commerce Committee agenda of Tuesday, Feb. 16. It is a further preemption of city regulation over 5G and 4G towers. This is exactly what my Midtown constituents are complaining about. If you don’t like these towers and you think your elected city officials should have a say, tell the Legislature.￼ The most valuable thing you can do is to put your yay/nay vote and comments on RTS, if you have an account. If you are not on RTS, send an email and be sure to put the bill number in the subject line.￼
HB2108 preempts cities and counties from charging fees to telecom companies who want to lay underground cable along city streets and highways. Other utilities pay right of way fees for being along/under streets and highways. The telecom companies have plenty of money to pay the fees.￼ This bill passed Commerce Committee but has not been voted on in the House. This usually means they don’t have the votes to pass it. You can use the “my bills position” function on RTS to say you don’t like this bill even after it passed out of committee.￼
Since both of these bills preempt city government, they also take away your rights as voters to say what goes on in your city or county.￼
HB2872 is my bill to create a cellular towers study committee. We are promoting and incentivizing technology that is not totally understood by Legislators and that has far-reaching unintended consequences.
Telecom companies are going to make billions￼￼￼ on 5G. They will be selling us new services, new apps, new voluntary surveillance, and new gadgets, while they are collecting and selling our personal data without regulation or protections.￼
The Legislature doesn’t need to lard on tax breaks and preemption on top of massive profits and corporate surveillance.