Lemmings for Bad Bills

Lemmings for Bad Bills

By Kirstin Beatty on 10 May 2020

~ Updated 21 July 2021

 

Please be careful and pay attention to what you support or sign. Don’t be a lemming!

These two bills are still in play IN 2021-2022 and still a problem:

  • H. 383 for a 5G Task Force > now H. 124 (2021-2)

    • This bill is to create ‘equity’ in 5G development – this is a misleading objective, equity, because:
      • 5G is an injustice to our health
      • Big business would have a big seat at the table
      • Municipalities & residents are fighting to stop 5G and failing because the industry, supported by the FCC, has too much weight.
  • S. 129 Resolution for Radiofrequency Disclosure > now S. 186 (2021-2)
  • Note: I heard from legislative staff that this bill, although sponsored by Senator Cyr, was sent to the department of health by the Joint Committee of Consumer Protection & Licensing and then rewritten as above.
  • This post discusses more issues with commissions, such as years of delay on action, and potential solutions if pushed forward.
    • This bill is for a commission to study impact of wireless harm, but looks like planning for industry bailout – of 11 members:
      • Governor Baker, with a dark money rap, controls all appointments.
      • 3 members depend on the wireless industry
      • 4 members are directly beholden to Baker, of which:
        • 2 work closely with IT and telecommunications
        • 1 works closely with business
        • 1 denied release of a fact sheet on reducing exposures created with the Massachusetts public health department
      • Of the remaining 4, nothing prevents conflicts of interest and every position could be filled by industry hacks
        • 2 positions as written could be filled by local industry hacks: the scientist and the “environmental” lawyer
      • The first item of business for the commission is to examine how the industry may be financially impacted if wireless is harmful!

Some of the bills submitted to the Massachusetts legislature on wireless may look good on the surface, but the devil is in the details as noted. The same can be true for requests for testimony – you must be sure to know what the bill actually represents before signing.

Advocates are going to support the bills most close to heart, but I find sometimes that advocates support problematic legislation without caveat.

In addition to the above bills, here are examples of 2019-2020 Massachusetts bills that need a little work to meet public needs:

      • The Best Management Practices bill H. 1874 > Now H. 115
        • For 2021, a constituent and I contacted Representative Dykema and discussed all the issues below and she did not want to change the install wireless phrasing, and in fact nearly did not submit the bill as she did not have the interest. Yet, she has several sponsors for the bill and an actual bill to hard wire, H. 105, has only Rep. Patricia Duffy and I as sponsors. I find this a mistake on the part of advocates who apparently don’t understand that Rep. Patricia Duffy is willing to do more and deserves support.
        • Marketed as a solution for harm from school wireless, but phrasing was to install wireless and use “best practices.”
          • In real life, asking individual teachers and students to turn wireless on and off is impractical.
          • The education department under Governor Baker has been closely tied to technology interests and may not be the best for developing “best practices.”
          • This bill offers a small step but needs improvement – in the 2019-2020 session, H. 587 does better at effecting changes – but with tweaks, both might work well together.
          • In the previous 2017-18 session, Dr. Devra Davis offered support for the best management bill and my bill criminalizing wireless.
      • The Commission to Study Power Frequencies bill 1956 > Now H. 2351
        • 2021 – As a sign that legislators do not read emails, this bill has been regularly submitted each legislative session without any changes to the criticisms below. Before this session, I asked a constituent who knew Representative Linsky to catch him and discuss these issues, as well as sponsor bills, but have the sense that never happened as there are not any changes or sponsorships. True, this session the time frame for sponsorships was odd due to Covid19 but it is disappointing.
        • Independence of the commission needs to be examined as the American Cancer Society is known to have serious conflicts of interest. The Environmental League of Massachusetts is also of concern due to working closely with a corporate council and other reasons (see the MA legislation page).

Legislators barely have time to examine or alter bills, and to support these bills or support them without caveat is a disaster. H. 383 is in fact to directly promote 5G – how can this help without a miracle?

I’ve heard advocacy for the above problem bills without any discrimination, despite my critiques or warnings. Looking at the templates offered by advocates in support of some of these bills, criticism and details about bills are absent. When I prepare testimony for others to sign, I make very clear what the testimony supports in fairness to signatories and legislators.

By focusing on problem bills, we waste our efforts on fixing those bills as legislators rarely have the staff and time to do so, especially given the number of bills to review. Instead, a simple bill to hard-wire buildings should get full support, and this could move forward even just on a internet security and speed basis, without mention of health, while leading to real change.

I believe legislation and critical analysis posted here at Last Tree Laws is helpful, as well as the original legislation I’ve written. Current 2021-2022 examples of positive legislation are posted at MA legislation and need lobbying in support. Some examples submitted in MA for 2019-2020 include:

        • S. 294 An Act Limiting School Screen Time – to allow schools to opt out of mandated technology use in every classroom;
        • S. 295 and H. 588 – bills which protect student and staff privacy and support a more thorough education about technology risks.
        • S. 1271 – Educating patients on environmental health risks – initially conceived in 2015 and submitted then as SD. 2256.
        • In fact, I did put forward a bill to require release of a fact sheet on wireless and other electromagnetic radiation – that flew under the radar and is another story . . .
        • Etc. . . .

Your subscription and any help matters.

Note: To read about the specific problems with the bills listed, please visit the MA Legislation page.

2 Replies to “Lemmings for Bad Bills”

  1. Well said, Kirstin! Very important what you wrote here! People, especially our legislators,need to pay attention to what you are saying here.

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