Commission for Electromagnetic Investigation

This is still in draft! Feedback is welcome to Kirstin via LinkedIn, Twitter, or email!

DRAFT: An Electromagnetic (Wireless, Electricity) Investigation

Prepared by Kirstin Beatty (Beatty.fyi, co-chair of Last Tree Laws)
2 December 2020

SECTION 1. Whereas, other countries and some states have chosen to limit or ban certain exposures to wireless or electrical frequencies.

Whereas, reputable, peer-reviewed evidence shows wireless frequencies may cause or promote cancer, heart disease, and learning problems – such as research on cancer by the U.S. National Toxicology Program.

Whereas, peer-reviewed science associates certain types of electric exposures with cancer, infertility, and miscarriage.

Whereas, Massachusetts residents would benefit from a review of the science and potential solutions free of influence from corporate and political interests.

Whereas, the following investigative commission reduces political pressure by diversifying who appoints, restricting appointments by politicians, and setting limits on conflicts of interest.

SECTION 2. Resolved, Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission, hereafter called the commission, to research the impact of electromagnetic (EMR) radiation ranging from zero to 300 Ghz, with respect to consumer protection, public health, and the environment to determine, if detrimental, how to equitably allay environmental and health impacts.

(a) Commission objectives. The commission shall convene no later than 60 days following enactment in order to research and review non-industry-funded and peer-reviewed science regarding EMR, inviting comment from medical and scientific experts independent of industry.

If concerns are deemed warranted, the commission shall with respect to safer housing, utilities, business, public health, environment, and telecommunications:

(i) identify and review the current state laws, regulations, and administrative directives; (ii) identify the key sectors and regions that would best benefit from improved legislation, regulations, and administrative directives;
(iii) secondarily, as time allows, identify same at the federal level;
(iv) identify funding sources for recommendations;
(v) require the department of housing and economic development to submit reports to the legislature it obtains from cellular and cellular technology companies;
(vi) set a schedule, dividing into smaller committees as warranted to meet objectives; (vii) invite testimony from other experts as useful; and
(viii) may accept public testimony.

The commission shall submit a report of its findings, or a series of reports, including any draft legislation and regulations, to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate within 16 months of the passage of this act.

(b) Transparency. The commission’s meetings and communications shall be recorded and subject to the Massachusetts open meeting laws so as to be transparent.

(c) Formation and resources.The Office of the Governor shall organize and support the commission arrangements. The chairperson or chairpersons shall with the commission members set a meeting schedule. Commission members shall elect a chair by majority vote, who may be replaced at any time upon majority vote. If the commission members break into smaller committees, the same process shall apply. Commission member attendance and expert testimony by videoteleconference or telephone shall be allowed.

The commission shall be assisted by and have access to all the resources available to the legislature and the executive branch in its investigations.

(d) The commission shall have the following composition:

(a) The Attorney General or designee;
(b) A nominee of the Massachusetts Teachers Association or Boston Teachers Union;
(c) A nominee of the Massachusetts School Nurse Association;
(c) One union member nominated by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO;
(d) One telecommunications worker representative nominated by the Communications Workers of America;
(e) One doctor nominated by the American Environmental Academy of Medicine;
(f) One scientist nominated by the Silent Spring Institute;
(g) One doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Medical Society, ideally with expertise in either cancer, neuroscience, or infertility;
(h) One scientist nominated by New England-based Community Action Works, formerly the Toxics Action Center;
(i) One pediatric doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics;
(j) One doctor nominated by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility;
(k) One doctor or scientists nominated by the Environmental Health Trust [or Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition];
(l) One representative or lawyer nominated by the Massachusetts Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action;
(m) 2 representatives nominated by the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union;
(n) 2 nominees from the Institute of Building Biology & Sustainable IBN
(o) A representative of the State House selected by the Speaker of the House;
(p) A senator of the State Senate selected by the President of the Senate;
(q) A representative of small business appointed by the governor;
(r) 3 non-voting members appointed by governor:
Telecommunications representative;
Medical system representative;
Engineer in wireless networks;
(s) 4 non-voting commissioners, directors, or their designees for the following departments:
Public Health;
Telecommunications and Cable;
Technical Assistance and Technology Office;
Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation.

(e) Conflicts of interest. No member, except a non-voting member, or spouse of voting member of the Commission shall have a history involving current telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility industry clients or job dependency; nor shall any voting member have a current investment portfolio with conflicts of interest in the areas of energy, telecommunications, IT, or utilities. No voting member or spouse of a voting member of the Commission shall receive funding or a job from telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility sectors in the two years following the commission’s final report. All commission members must file a statement detailing any relevant conflicts of interest as specified, including activities in relation to immediate family and extended family members. Copies must be freely available for viewing by the public. These statements must be filed with the Secretary of State during the commission period and in the two years following closure of the commission.

Chairmanship, legislative and policy decisions for reports to the Commonwealth shall be decided by vote only of all members with voting status.

Only members deemed voting members may author commission reports. Any commission member deemed a non-voting member shall recuse himself or herself from any commission votes to decide or influence the commission reports, and shall instead serve only to assist the commission. Any nominee with conflicts of interest intended as a voting member shall recuse himself or herself from nomination, except insofar as the nominee’s job represents a conflict of interest, is specified in subsection (d), and the individual is not described as non-voting.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE LEGISLATION IN DRAFT FOR 2021

 

SECTION 1. The legislature finds and declares all of the following:--

Whereas, insuring schools or school districts set a school screen time and cellphone limit requires that the community engages and agrees upon what those limits should be.

Whereas, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a 2019 study that found high levels of screen time reduces structural integrity in key brain areas responsible for literacy and language.

Whereas, the Massachusetts education standards mandate screen time, For example, writing standards in Pre-K require students “use [digital tools (e.g. computers, mobile phones, cameras)] to convey messages in pictures and in words” and in Grade 1 require students “explore a variety of digital tools” for writing and publishing and in educational writing standards encourage students in and from Grade 3 to gather information from digital sources.

Whereas, information technology captures data for profiling, predictive analytics, and crime, and addictive persuasive design influences thoughts and behavior.

Whereas, the content of corporate programs has often been found to reflect corporate interests, be generic, and lack currency or individualization, yet EdTech is outside teacher and local control.

Whereas, integrating software learning into every subject takes time away from other subjects – software requires far too much time and energy to evaluate, regulate, learn, fix and maintain.

Whereas, an hour of videoconferencing or streaming requires 2-12 liters of water, land area about the size of an iPad mini, emits 150-1,000 grams of carbon dioxide, when a gallon of gasoline car exhaust emits about 8,887 grams), requires 2-12 liters of water and demands a land area adding up to about the size of an iPad Mini (Obringer et al, 2021).

Whereas, mandates for screen time prevent alternative learning models that may be locally preferred, such as Montessori, Waldorf, or outdoor learning models.

Whereas, extended screen time is widely acknowledged as harmful to health due to time sitting, staring, blue light exposure, magnetic fields, and lack of movement.

SECTION 2. Chapter 69 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Board'' is the board of elementary and secondary education.

''Commissioner'' is the commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

“Confidential data” is data collected on students or staff and which includes:
(1) standard identifying information:
i. names of staff and students
ii. dates of birth
iii. addresses
iv. grades
v. medical information
vi. exam results
vii. staff development reviews
viii. assessments
ix. other personal identifying information
(2) identifying data such as location-tracking, photographs, and biometric data, which includes unique biological or behavioral identifiers such but not limited to voice audio, fingerprints, gait recognition, and keystroke dynamics.
(3) personal writings or other personal work such as art
(4) political views
(5) socioeconomic data
(6) disciplinary data
(7) similar data or information on other individuals that are not students or staff, but may be referenced in or extracted from student and staff data.
(8) observed and inferred data from the data provided

"Department" is the department of elementary and secondary education.

“Screen time” is time viewing a technological or digital screen which includes but is not limited to a television, a smart board, projector, or computer.

“Passive screen time” is time viewing a technological or digital screen in which one only observes and does not interact or alter the screen by typing or otherwise moving the body.

“Interactive screen time” is time viewing and interacting with or altering a technological or digital screen by typing or otherwise moving the body.

“Virtual reality” is an interactive screen time experience taking place in a simulated visual environment, either real or imagined, and may incorporate auditory and sensory feedback. Augmented reality systems is a type of virtual reality in which perception of the real world is augmented by computer-generated perceptual information such as visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

“Authority” is the authority legally invested with setting policy for a public charter school, virtual school, or, in the case of a school district, the elected school committee.

(b) School screen time limits. Each public school authority shall set and publish a limit on school screen time and cellphone use, setting limits for both interactive screen time and passive screen time with input from the local community, school staff, students, and guardians. A baseline for school screen time and cellphone limits is provided in subsection (e), which shall apply unless the authority adopts more stringent or liberal limits. The authority must base its school screen time limits on the principles defined in subsection (c) and must follow a public commenting process as defined in subsection (d) for an initial and ensuing annual review. Except as defined in subsection (f), any other revisions to existing school screen time limits also require a public hearing.

Except as defined in this subsection and subsection (f), it shall be unlawful for any school or teaching staff to allow a student enrolled in either public primary or secondary schools in the Commonwealth to exceed screen time limits during and after school hours for school-related assignments, including extra-curricular activities.

Except as defined in subsection (c) and (f), it shall be unlawful to require screen time as a condition of public primary and secondary school required coursework or activities.

Nothing in this law requires the use of digital technology or screen time, nor preempts more restrictive state or local limitations.

(c) Screen time principles. School screen time limits must be premised on educational benefits to the student and safe use rather than simply convenience or savings to the educator or school system. Therefore, recommendations for school screen time limits must be based on the following findings:

(1) The educational goal cannot be as easily or as quickly accomplished by traditional educational methods which do not use screen time and the use of technology serves an educational purpose;
(2) The specific use of screen time provides educational benefits superior to traditional methods which do not use screen time;
(3)The selection of products, potential gateways to other platforms, and scheduling of screen time is carefully considered to prevent physical, psychological, social and neurological adverse consequences, including digital addiction;
(4) Other than exceptions listed in subsection (f), courses and school activities revolving around prolonged screen time are limited to students in grades 8 to 12, with no more than 90 minutes of screen time daily through grade 9 and 120 minutes of screen time daily through grade 12.
(5) Other than exceptions listed in subsection (f), children or students below grade eight are not to exceed more than 5 hours of passive screen time in a month; to have no interactive screen time below grade four; and from grade four through seven are not to exceed more than 1 hour of interactive screen time weekly.
(5) Students under age 16 are not to use virtual reality technology.
(6) Students age 16 and above are not to use to virtual reality technology without an explicit opt-in form, explicit verbal warnings of potential negative effects, and, unless clear scientific evidence proves safety for both mental and physical development, must limit time spent in virtual reality to a maximum of 1 hour in a year expressly tied to a specific educational purpose other than entertainment.
(8) Courses or school activities that revolve around extensive screen time are voluntary, and screen time requirements in those activities highly relevant to the subject matter of the course or school activity.
(9) Traditional forms of instruction and learning which do not use screen time are preferred whenever desired by the educator or when these accomplish the task as well or approximately as well.
(10) Technology implementation and use follows the best practices for health, safety, and confidential data protection, and closes any intentional or unintentional gateway to products or services with adverse impacts, such as from, but not limited to, persuasive design, distracting entertainment, and data profiling.
(11) Use of digital technology or screen time is carefully designed in by the school, teacher, and support staff to insure procedures are in place, including data processing agreements, to help protect confidential data and, when the purpose is fulfilled, destroy the confidential data.
(12) If the screen time involves voice or video recording, the careful consideration of whether students or educators must be visible on the screen or must be heard, and if video and sound recordings can be avoided in order to fulfill the educational purpose.
(13) Compliance with all confidential data protection requirements at the local, state, and federal level.

(d) Public hearing decision. Except as defined in section (f), the authority must provide for a public hearing during annual reviews and before setting any new screen time limits.

For the public hearing, each authority shall publish a public notice and shall additionally inform all students, guardians, and school personnel of the hearing and commenting procedures using standard protocols used by the school or school district. These notices shall provide an electronic and postal address for written submissions; hearing time, date, and location; and that any party with a financial interest in promoting cellphone use or screen time is to self-identify by including the name of any relevant business and any product in conjunction with his or her name and tagged financial interest. The public hearing shall be set at time convenient to most school personnel, students, and guardians.

School teachers and school departments shall be provided time in school to meet as departments and as a school at least three weeks in advance of the hearing in order to review and discuss the proposed screen time and cellphone limits, principles, and consider recommendations for submission of public comments to the authority.

The hearing and all written comments, including the names of the testifiers, submitted shall be subject to the Open Meeting Law and written comments shall be available to the public for a reasonable sliding-scale fee or freely available for review – however, one exception to this rule shall be that any student, guardian, or teacher request based on personal needs shall not require or allow exposure of the name of the testifier unless desired by the testifier and, if relevant, his or her guardian.

Following the hearing and within eight weeks, the authority shall finalize and vote on the cellphone and screen time limits, with the decision decided by the majority, and shall prepare a public statement of its decision.

The public statement must state :

(1) all requests for additional screen time or cellphones by parties outside of the school system, excepting requests exempted under subsection (f) or (j) and given a relationship to potential future attendance;
(2) for each request for additional screen time, the relevant names of any school district or school staff who made the request, excepting requests exempted by subsection (f) or (j);
(3) a clearly marked list of all individuals with a financial interest due to business or to potential product sales that request increased screen time;
(4) the factual reasoning for the decisions based on the principles in subsection (c);
(5) how the individuals of the authority voted;
(6) optionally, a statement of reasons for dissent prepared by any individual(s) in the authority.

(e) Proposed screen time and cellphone limits. Screen time restrictions are provided according to grade level as follows:

(1) Pre-K through kindergarten screen time: maximum of 4 hours, none of which may be interactive;
(2) First through second grade: maximum 5 hours per school year, none of which may be interactive;
(3) Grade three through seven passive screen time: maximum of one hour a day and 5 hours total in the school year;
(4) Grade three interactive screen time: none;
(4) Grade four through seven interactive screen time: maximum of 20 minutes a day and a maximum of 3.5 hours total in the school year;
(5) Grade 8 through 10 passive screen time: maximum of one hour a day and 25 hours total in the school year;
(6) Grade eight interactive screen time: maximum of one hour a day and 5 hours total in the school year.
(7) Grade nine through ten interactive screen time: maximum of one hour daily and 10 hours total in the school year.
(8) Grade 11 through 12 passive screen time: maximum of one hour a day and 35 hours total in the school year;
(9) Grade eleven through twelve interactive screen time: maximum of one hour daily and 30 hours total in the school year.
(10) All grades are to leave cellphones at home or in airplane mode at school in furnished lockboxes, relying on the school telecommunications system for any necessary calls.

(f) Exceptions to screen time limits. With a public hearing, exceptions may be granted to school screen time limits beginning in the eighth grade for: (1) specialized, optional courses whose subject requires screen time, such as computer programming; and (2) extracurricular activities whose subject requires screen time, such as a computer programming club.

A Commonwealth virtual school shall be excepted from screen time limits insofar as excused by its design as described in section 94 of Chapter 71 Title I of the General Laws. Despite this exception, the virtual school must to the maximum extent seek to reduce screen time, where possible, and to meet the expectations of subsections (d) and (c), including reporting.

Some exceptions to screen time limits do not require a public hearing due to private or emergency nature. If an exception is granted to school screen time limits on the basis of a school or public emergency, the authority shall reconvene as soon as the emergency has passed to establish an orderly, swift process to end the temporary extension and return to the limits previously established without the need for a public hearing. If the reason for an exception no longer exists with respect to a private need, the exception granted is ended.

The following exceptions shall be granted with respect to school screen time limits without requiring a public hearing:

(1) when a conditon of the student’s individualized education plan, or when a licensed physician determines necessary for health, an exception to school- or district-wide screen time limits shall be granted;
(2) quarantine to prevent transmission of a dangerous disease;
(3) personal condition of a student that prevents student school attendance, such as a personal emergency or suspension from school;
(4) an unexpected school or public disaster obstructing use of classrooms for in-person learning.

(g) Informed consent and opt-outs. Information about school technology shall be made available to school students, guardians, and staff to support the principles in subsection (c) by the authority to the best of its knowledge and ability. The authority shall insure each educator has easy access to a printed list of all software and technologies utilized by the educator, including as specifically connected to each technology product or service, information about the data collected, parties to the data, associated companies, data processing agreements, and any attendant risks provided in the product manual or service contract and any other attendant risks that are known to exist.

The authority shall insure each guardian and student is also provided with a copy of the list as relevant to the student. This delivery of this information to students and guardians may be assigned to classroom teachers.

Given this information, each guardian and student shall be provided with the opportunity to opt out of the use of any specific product or service.

(h) Violations. Each authority shall establish a screen time policy to prevent violations and to deal with students and staff who violate this law that includes consequences to prevent violations. This screen time policy shall include staff education on the policy and the hazards of excessive screen time and redirection with education for initial mistakes.

Any outside party, including any co-conspirators, attempting to subvert this law in order to increase the use of any technological product shall be subject to civil charges and a penalty. The party or parties shall pay restitution and return profits, including earnings for lobbying. Additionally each party shall pay the amount the party has available, according to its earnings, in 15 days or, if deemed best, equivalent time in custody and to which charitable conditions or other strings may be attached.

(i) Cellphone limits. The authority shall adopt a policy to limit or prohibit the use by students of cellphones while the students are the school site or while under the supervision and control of an employee or employees of that school or school district. The authority may also limit use by staff.

(j) Cellphone exceptions. Notwithstanding subsection (i), no person shall be prohibited from possessing or using a cellphone under any of the following circumstances:

(1) In the case of an emergency, or in response to a perceived threat of danger.
(2) When a licensed physician and surgeon determines that the possession or use of a cellphone is necessary to the person’s health.
(3) When the possession or use of a cell phone is required in a student’s individualized education program.

(k) End technology mandate across curriculum. The Board, commissioner, and department shall revise state education goals, curriculum frameworks, and evaluation requirements to eliminate any educational mandate for the use of digital or of information technology except in extracurricular courses in the subject area, and eliminate requirements and evaluations of the use of digital and information technology across curriculum in all subjects.

SECTION 3. Section 1I of chapter 69 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2021 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph after the first paragraph:-

Technology study shall be an optional and not a required public school subject. Unless voluntarily enrolling in a technology course, no public school student, legal guardian, or public school shall be treated with prejudice or found wanting in an evaluation due to following a principle of restricting or avoiding student digital technology use or choosing not to purchase or upgrade digital technological equipment. A student or school may safely restrict or avoid digital student technology use and still be provided high marks in evaluation based on other measures, and may pursue alternative models of education such as the Montessori or another model. Within reason, however, such a school may be expected to insure students understand age-appropriate aspects of digital technology use related to safety, health, responsibility, societal impacts, and privacy.

SECTION 4. Subsection (a) of Section 94 of Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2021 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the sentence “''Commonwealth virtual school'', a public school operated by a board of trustees whose teachers primarily teach from a remote location using the internet or other computer-based methods and whose students are not required to be located at the physical premises of the school.” and inserting in place thereof the following sentence: –

''Commonwealth virtual school'', a public school operated by a board of trustees whose teachers primarily use distance learning, where the student is not required to be located at the physical premises of the school and instead uses computer-based methods, the internet, telephone, or correspondence by post.

SECTION 5. Section 94 of Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2021 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:--

In conducting certification and recertification, the board and department shall require virtual schools to adopt pedagogical strategies and curriculum to, when possible and appropriate to student ability, adopt the following policies: (1) reduce the time students spend before digital screens; (2) with remote online learning, provide real-time presence of teachers or a clearly marked method to access teachers in real-time in order to provide help; (3) provide a weekly schedule for students or guardians to access teachers with a phone call comparable to after-school hours at traditional brick-and-mortar schools; (4) avoid the use of set of predefined, rigidly scripted curriculum and instead favor curriculum the teacher has vetted, modified, and chosen or created in coordination with student needs.

SECTION 6. Chapter 15D of Part I Title II of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section: -

Technology limits in early education

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Confidential data” is data collected on students or staff and which includes:
(1) standard identifying information:
i. names of staff and students
ii. dates of birth
iii. addresses
iv. grades
v. medical information
vi. exam results
vii. staff development reviews
viii. assessments
ix. other personal identifying information
(2) identifying data such as location-tracking, photographs, and biometric data, which includes unique biological or behavioral identifiers such but not limited to voice audio, fingerprints, gait recognition, and keystroke dynamics.
(3) personal writings or other personal work such as art
(4) political views
(5) socioeconomic data
(6) disciplinary data
(7) similar data or information on other individuals that are not students or staff, but may be referenced in or extracted from student and staff data.
(8) observed and inferred data from the data provided

“Interactive screen time” is time viewing and interacting with or altering a technological or digital screen by typing or otherwise moving the body.

“Screen time” is time viewing a technological or digital screen which includes but is not limited to a television, a smart board, projector, or computer.

“Passive screen time” is time viewing a technological or digital screen in which one only observes and does not interact or alter the screen by typing or otherwise moving the body.

“Virtual reality” is an interactive screen time experience taking place in a simulated visual environment, either real or imagined, and may incorporate auditory and sensory feedback. Augmented reality systems is a type of virtual reality in which perception of the real world is augmented by computer-generated perceptual information such as visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

(b) Technology screen, safety and privacy limits. The department of early education and care, the commissioner of early education and care, and the board of early education and care shall limit and circumscribe screen time and digital technology for the benefit of children and staff in early education and care, including but not limited to the following conditions:

(1) Areas where children spend the majority of time shall not have a television, computer monitor, or other screen routinely playing video, including moving images, or video games, to provide for either passive or interactive screen time.
(2) Toys utilized by children in early education and care shall not have the capability for passive or interactive screen time.
(3) Toys utilized in early education and care shall not have the ability to record confidential data.
(4) Passive and interactive screen time shall be prohibited for children under age 4.
(5) Beginning at the age of 4, children may be allowed passive screen time, not interactive screen time however. Passive screen time is not to exceed one of the following choices: (i) one day of each week for 90 minutes; (ii) 20 minutes daily; or (iii) three days for 30 minutes.
(6) Promote alternative activities to screen time and do not use screen time as a reward.
(7) Children are not to utilize a cellphone or other screen-based digital device as a toy.
(8) Test electric and magnetic fields to insure that the play are rest areas have a magnetic field must be less than 1 milligauss, 60 hertz electrical field less than 1.5 V/m, and insure electrical equipment is away from play and rest areas – if stricter limits or policies are recommended by the state or federal government, adopt these stricter limits or policies.
(9) Avoid the use of wireless devices, such as routers or cellphones, and WiFi near or in play or rest areas, or where children spend the majority of time – hard wire any necessary digital equipment and verify that wireless transmissions have been halted – if stricter limits or policies are recommended by the state or federal government, adopt these stricter limits or policies.
(9) Regulate screen time to prevent the impact of bright, artificial light from disrupting circadian rhythms and sleep.
(11) Discourage or limit the use of wireless devices, including video and voice devices intended to monitor children.
(12) Limit and discourage the posting of children’s confidential data on social media, unsecured cellphones, or other nonsecure online platforms and if posting first acquire permission from the guardian(s).
(14) Provide that early education certification and recertification provides relevant education on cybersecurity, privacy, and cyber safety.

Title: An Act Regulating Screen Time in Early and PreK-12 Education

Summary: The bill is intended to allow community-approved limits on PreK - 12 screen time and encourage safer but less tech in early education.

Lead and co-sponsors: Please contact your legislators and ask to support this bill as a lead or co-sponsor. Please contact Last Tree Laws (see footer below) or Kirstin Beatty to share how it goes.

Suggestions: Please contact Last Tree Laws (see footer below) or Kirstin Beatty to share suggestions.

History: This bill is a revision based on 2019-20 MA S. 294 by K. Beatty.

Instead of the school technology fund set in law the following replacement is suggested to:

      • provide safe telecommunications and internet
      • study safer technology or safer substitutes
      • provide professional development that:
        • addresses issues and local district needs
        • affirms and offers tech alternatives to reduce tech reliance
        • limits screen time

Section 3A: Statewide educational technology plan; goals; development and implementation

Section 3A. A statewide educational technology plan, to be known as Massachusetts education-on-line, shall be developed by the Massachusetts corporation for educational telecommunication, hereinafter referred to as MCET. Said educational technology plan shall incorporate the following goals:

(a) health- and socially-conscious implementation of technology in public schools, including, but not limited to, the establishment of a hard-wired statewide telecommunications and technology link with minimal chemical and electromagnetic emissions among public college and university campuses and school districts through the use of computer and communications technology;

(b) facilitating the implementation of a statewide professional development plan in coordination with the commissioner of education for teachers, principals, and superintendents to reduce technology reliance and support screen time boundaries; affirm and offer technology alternatives; actively address technology issues, including but not limited to privacy, digital addiction, bullying, health, ransomware, and environmental costs; and meet needs for technology as set by local school districts; and

(c) support study and examination of options for safer substitutes or safer technology.

For the purposes of this section, said educational technology plan shall be broadly construed to include, but not be limited to, programs, courses, and capital expenditures including computer hardware and software, networks, television, --[cross out satellite transmissions]---, fiber optics cable, calculators and video and audio tapes. Subject to appropriation, MCET may provide grants to universities, colleges, schools and school districts for the purposes of purchasing the equipment and other materials necessary for the implementation of said educational technology plan. The MCET executive director, in consultation with the secretary and the board of education and the board of higher education, may establish such advisory groups or committees as he deems necessary for the development and implementation of said educational technology plan.

Updated version of 2019 bill S. 295, this bill could be split in two and modified to allow more time, but any modification should insure that local control is retained. The bill has two parts:

    1. Requires schools to set processes and evolving, benchmarked goals to support privacy and safer technology behaviors.
    2. Establishes state and local committees to develop policy and a scope and sequence for curriculum on digital tech issues and mitigation.

An Act Accounting for technological privacy and safety in schools with local and state committees

SECTION 1. Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding, after Section 93, the following section:-

SECTION 93A. DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNOLOGY PRIVACY AND SAFETY MEASURES

(a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Granular opt-out processes for different uses of data” is providing separate options to refuse different types of data sharing. Considerations include but are not limited to placement in a yearbook or directory, using cloud services, or using school-issued devices or personal devices.

“Opt-out alternatives for technology” is an opt-out of using technology with a comparable or alternative non-technological assignment.

“Students and staff” includes all students in pre-K through 12th grade, including students in home schooling, as well as preK-12th grade staff and teachers, including tutors and extra-curricular leaders. Tutors or other arranged staff, including legal guardians or volunteers, that provide extra-curricular activities or other educational learning, are also included.

“Scope and sequence” refers to a document providing an overview of the scope, or depth and breadth, of content to be taught at a specific grade level and the sequence, or order in which content should be taught throughout the year.

“Confidential data” is data collected on students or staff and which includes:

(1) standard identifying information:

i. names of staff and students

ii. dates of birth

iii. addresses

iv. grades

v. medical information

vi. exam results

vii. staff development reviews

viii. assessments

ix. other personal identifying information

(2) identifying data such as location-tracking, photographs, and biometric data, which includes unique biological identifiers such as voice audio or fingerprints

(3) personal writings or other personal work such as art

(4) political views

(5) socioeconomic data

(6) disciplinary data

(7) similar data or information on other individuals that are not students or staff, but may be referenced in or extracted from student and staff data.

(8) observed and inferred data from the data provided

(b) Each school committee in conjunction with the superintendent or with the board of trustees of a charter school shall support the security, privacy, safety, and wellbeing of students and staff by establishing the following, allowing for exceptions when not applicable:

(i) Granular opt-out processes for different uses of data;

(ii) Identification and labeling of processes and equipment which may risk confidentiality or safety;

(iii) Respectable informed consent and opt-out procedures;

(iv) Shredding or secure erasure of unneeded data;

(v) Access to clearly described vendor data collection policies and data security for relevant students, legal guardians, and staff;

(vi) Preferred technology vendors, software, websites, and equipment to meet considerations for privacy, health, safety, access, and limitations on marketing;

(vii) Staff training and student technology education on confidentiality, privacy, safety, health, security, and marketing concerns;

(viii) Policies on digital devices to protect confidentiality, privacy, health, security, safety, and prevent marketing concerns;

(ix) Policies and procedures on screen time limits;

(x) Timelines to move towards hard-wiring equipment, isolating systems, providing safer technology, reducing technological reliance, and other more expensive or time-consuming procedures for security and safety;

(xi) Full identification and records of preferred vendors, software, and equipment, to allow legal redress;

(xii) Evolving goals and established processes for reducing staff and student reliance on and use of technology that undermines confidentiality, health, safety, security, wellbeing, or serves marketing purposes; and

(xiii) Yearly benchmarks set by the district and schools to move towards goals set in (b) (xii).

(c) Each public school committee in conjunction with the superintendent and each board of trustees of a charter school shall provide for a scope and sequence for curriculum on using digital technology more safely and with sociological awareness, hereafter called Digital Scope & Sequence (DSS). The DSS shall include, as age-appropriate, personal, health, and sociological problems arising from technology use. DSS topics shall include but not be limited to the areas of privacy, automation, addiction, job turnover, monopoly, propaganda, marketing, stalking, profiling, health, environment, resource scarcity, programming errors, and weapons. In conjunction with these topics, the DSS shall require education on mitigation of technology problems and age-appropriate practices in healthier, safer and more environmentally-friendly and responsible technology use, behavior, and communication.

The DSS shall be designed flexibly to allow for integration of concepts across disciplines, current events, and to respond to rapidly evolving technology.

(d) Each public school committee in conjunction with the superintendent and each board of trustees of a charter school shall provide for a Digital Safety Policy, hereafter called DSP, for safer use of technology. Any such DSP shall:

(1) Require the notification of the parents, legal guardians, students, and additional stakeholders of the policy and any changes to it every two years at the beginning of the academic year with opportunity for public input and recommendations;

(2) Be evaluated at least every two years by the school committee in conjunction with the superintendent or board of trustees of a charter school to ensure that the policy conforms to current law, internet practices and technical requirements of teachers, provided that the results of the evaluation are made subject to a public hearing to accept public comment and input;

(3) Require employment of a DSS pursuant to subsection (c) of this section;

(4) Insure technology use is educationally-focused;

(5) Provide for accessibility through universal design;

(6) Provide a procedure for legal guardians and students to register complaints with respect to DSP failures;

(7) Establish and make publicly available the specific measures to protect privacy, safety and health pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and make publicly available the individuals responsible for making these decisions; and

(8) Restrict access to online content that contains obscenity, pornography, or material harmful to minors including the following measures:

i. Make publicly available specific measures to block, filter, or alter websites, the basis for doing so, and the individuals who are responsible for making those decisions;

ii. Provide a procedure for teachers to override a website that has been blocked, provided that the website does not contain obscenity, pornography, or material harmful to minors;

iii. Establish criteria for the overruling of a request by a teacher to allow access to a website that is blocked by internet protection measures, a procedure to provide the requesting party with an explanation of the reasons for denial of a request, and a procedure to record and submit any requests and overrulings to the school committee every two years;

(e) Each district or charter school shall establish a Digital Safety Council with relevant expertise or abilities to develop, examine, and review the DSS and DSP, and shall publicly invite and not exclude parents, legal guardians, and local public school teachers as members who must be in the majority. Digital Safety Council members may not have served or serve as a product defense consultant or expert for the industry, and members must submit conflict of interest statements that shall be retained in district or charter school records and be freely available to the public. The Digital Safety Council shall have 9 months to provide an initial draft, which shall be provided to the local public school teachers and the local community for a 45-day review period to allow for criticism and ensuing revision for a period of four months.

(e) The state Board of Education shall provide a template for the DSP and DSS and may provide additional recommended resources and materials. The Board of Education shall establish a state-wide Digital Safety Council, hereafter called DSC, to prepare templates and additional materials, and shall provide support, a platform for reports, and coordination of meetings, whether by secure conference call, online exchange, or in person.

The state DSC shall include 6 public school teachers (including former or retired public school teachers), 3 legal guardians of public school students, 3 advocates, 2 medical professionals, and 1 public school administrator. The state Education Board shall insure the DSC is established by accepting for appointment teachers nominated by the Massachusetts Teachers Association, an advocate nominated by the Massachusetts ACLU, an advocate nominated by the Children’s Screen Time Network, an advocate nominated by [uncertain – Environmental Health Trust?], a physician nominated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians, and a psychologist nominated by the Massachusetts Psychological Association. If any organization listed chooses not to nominate to the DSC, then the state Education Board may select an individual. The Education Board shall also be tasked with identifying a public school administrator to join the DSC.

DSC members shall be provided with reasonable costs for travel, conferencing, and research needs. For low-income DSC members with need, an hourly wage or stipend for meeting attendance shall be provided to prevent exclusion.

The DSC shall invite public comment and presentations or information from technology experts, scientists, and doctors with relevant, current expertise regarding DSS and DSP concerns.

The process and publication the DSP, DSS, and relevant materials shall be within one year from appointment, with drafts published at 3, 6, and 9 months for public comment. The DSS and DSP model materials, including the scope & sequence, shall be updated every two years or sooner to reflect the evolution of technology, society, and the continuing advice of the legal guardians, students, parents, teachers, and school administrators, as well as privacy and safer technology advocates. Updates shall require only one draft and comment period before publication.

A suggested revision is below of H. 587 which in 2019-2020 asked for policy to reduce electromagnetic exposures only K-12 - the revision below includes the collegiate level.

Section 3 changes the education board current goals #3 & #4 and adds #5 for eco-health from this top-down, automated version: “(3) a deliberate process for establishing and achieving specific educational performance goals for every child, and (4) an effective mechanism for monitoring progress toward those goals and for holding educators accountable for their achievement.”

H. 587 needs sponsors in 2021 - was previously put forward on behalf of co-chair Kirstin Beatty by Rep. Aaron Vega, who is leaving office.

SECTION 1. Chapter 71 of Part I Title XII of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding a new section:-

SECTION 1D. WIRELESS AND NONIONIZING RADIATION EXPOSURES

Section 1D. Every public school shall have a policy to limit exposures to non-ionizing radiation stemming from wireless connectivity and from electricity. This policy shall insure that schools not only work to reduce or eliminate wireless exposures, but also work to reduce or eliminate electrical and magnetic fields emitted by electricity as well as artificial light. This policy shall also encourage students and staff, including any operating via remote education, to reduce electromagnetic exposures at school and at home in alignment with cautious interpretation of current science.

Every public school shall use this policy to work towards hardwiring Internet connections, reducing wireless connectivity, and reducing use of wireless devices. If access is wireless, ideally use of technology shall be limited and use of wireless connections by staff shall occur after regular hours when students have left the school, until such time as a hard-wired connection can be obtained. Ideally, to control and monitor equipment, a segregated area of the school shall be set aside for internet use by the staff and students.
Policy and any standards or rules enforcing the policy shall be provided by the school committee or charter school board, and shall be subject to development and review by a local committee inclusive of and not exclusive of student guardians, parents, and teachers belonging to the school or district.

SECTION 2. Section 15A of chapter 15A of Part I Title II , as appearing in the 2019 official edition, of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the following section:-

SECTION 15A. WIRELESS AND NONIONIZING RADIATION EXPOSURES
Section 15A. Every public or independent institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and authorized to grant degrees pursuant to any general or special law shall set a policy to limit student and staff exposures to non-ionizing radiation stemming from wireless connectivity, technology use, and electricity. This policy shall insure that institutions not only work to reduce or eliminate wireless exposures, but also work to reduce or eliminate the electrical and magnetic fields emitted by electricity as well as artificial light. This policy shall encourage students and staff, including any operating via remote education, to reduce electromagnetic exposures at school and home in alignment with cautious interpretation of current science.

Every institution shall use this policy to work towards hardwiring Internet connections, reducing wireless connectivity, and reducing use of wireless devices. If access is wireless, ideally use of technology shall be limited and use of wireless connections by staff shall occur after regular hours when students have left the school, until such time as a hard-wired connection can be obtained. Ideally, to control and monitor equipment, a segregated area of the school shall be set aside for internet use by the staff and students.

SECTION 3. Section 1 of chapter 69 of Part I Title XII of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place the following sentence:-

It is therefore the intent of this title to ensure that each public school classroom provides: (1) the conditions for all pupils to engage fully in learning as an inherently meaningful and enjoyable activity without threats to their sense of security or self-esteem; (2) a consistent commitment of resources sufficient to provide a high quality public education to every child; (3) a respectful process for attending to student academic needs and developing talents; (4) an effective mechanism for supporting positive school climates and teacher quality and professionalism; and (5) insuring the environmental health and safety of public school classrooms by allowing for policies and procedures designed to improve and monitor environmental health of public school buildings.

If fixed the 2019-2020 bill H. 1874, likely to be resubmitted by Rep. Carolyn Dykema, would be a fine supporting measure to accompany the other billsetting policy.

Problem to Fix: In 2017 (H. 2030) and 2019 (H. 1874), the submitted bill assumed habits or "best practices" can reduce harmful effects of wireless exposures; allows wireless installations; and trusts a non-elected department to decide what is safe. Below is a suggested revised text.

SECTION 1. Chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:--

Section 98. The department of elementary and secondary education shall develop best practices and guidance for the purchase and installation of wireless internet service and telecommunications in schools to minimize electromagnetic exposures. In developing these guidelines, the department shall consider and prioritize practices that protect the health and safety of public school students and staff. These guidelines shall provide varying approaches in order to account for variable financial abilities or investment of school districts. To develop these guidelines, the department shall consult with engineers and other experts in the field of reducing non-ionizing electromagnetic exposures, including transients and harmonics. Simultaneously, the department shall revise its accountability and education standards to allow school districts to limit electromagnetic exposures by reducing technology use.

SECTION 2. Chapter 15A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:--

Section 45. The board shall develop best practices and guidance for the purchase and installation of wireless internet service and telecommunications in public institutions of higher education to minimize electromagnetic exposures. In developing these guidelines, the board shall consider and prioritize practices that protect the health and safety of public institutions of higher education students and staff. To develop these guidelines, the department shall consult with engineers and other experts in the field of reducing non-ionizing electromagnetic exposures, including transients and harmonics.

A public statement by the state legislature would be helpful. A helpful statement would reduce electromagnetic exposures by urging the following steps:

      1. allow consideration of environmental & health effects in denying zoning requests by amending Telecommunications Act of 1996 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B) iv;
      2. demand a revision of FCC exposure guidelines in alignment with current science and decent caution;
      3. encourage divestment from wireless communications;
      4. encourage a slow economy and slow, healthy jobs;
      5. research and identify safer communication design;
      6. fully fund safer, hard-wired communications;
      7. increase whistle-blower protections in industry and federal government;
      8. limit agency conflicts of interest by criminalizing such abuse;
      9. encourage medical training and public health wireless and electromagnetic education; and,
      10. at the state and federal level, eliminate any mandate to require use of digital technology K-12 through college in any subject unless digital technology is the subject of the course.

Help:Reaching the stakeholder organizations listed in the bill is difficult - contact is needed to insure these organizations support being listed and involved in such a commission. The updated bill is posted in the LinkedIn Last Tree Laws group for feedback and support - support IS NEEDED!

Summary:This bill is for an investigation of electricity and wireless concerns, such as health, with ensuing recommendations. Commission members are to be appointed by a wide range of stakeholders, to improve chances of political and industry independence. Stakeholders include education and other union representatives as well as other large, powerful or respected organizations, which increases respectability and attention. FYI, note high-voltage line (electricity) placement by schools is regulated in California, to prevent proximity of student to high fields considered dangerous and that some districts forbid placement of cell towers on school property - steps that help address wireless and electrical concerns.

Why this bill:This bill is designed to generate publicity, invite stakeholders, and limit political influence - in Massachusetts this is a big concern due to the influence of the technology lobby. The New Hampshire Commission bill would likely fail in Massachusetts due to politics and the lack of engagement of big organizations.

An Electromagnetic (Wireless, Electricity) Investigation

Prepared by Kirstin Beatty of Last Tree Laws and Beatty.fyi

Resolved, Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission to research the impact of electromagnetic (EMR) radiation from zero to 300 Ghz on consumer protection, public health, and the environment to determine, if detrimental, how to allay impacts on the public, with mental, physical, and environmental health having primacy.

The commission shall be composed of the # members, as follows:

(a) The Attorney General or designee;
(b) A nominee of the Massachusetts Teachers Association or Boston Teachers Union;
(c) A nominee of the Massachusetts School Nurse Association;
(c) One union member nominated by the Massachusetts AFL-CIO;
(d) One telecommunications worker representative nominated by the Communications Workers of America;
(e) One doctor nominated by the American Environmental Academy of Medicine;
(f) One scientist nominated by the Silent Spring Institute;
(g) One doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Medical Society, ideally with expertise in either cancer, neuroscience, or infertility;
(h) One scientist nominated by New England-based Community Action Works, formerly the Toxics Action Center;
(i) One pediatric doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics;
(j) One doctor nominated by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility;
(k) One doctor or scientists nominated by the Environmental Health Trust [or Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition];
(l) One representative or lawyer nominated by the Massachusetts Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action;
(m) 2 representatives nominated by the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union;
(n) 2 nominees from the Institute of Building Biology & Sustainable IBN
(o) A representative of the State House selected by the Speaker of the House;
(p) A senator of the State Senate selected by the President of the Senate;
(q) A representative of small business appointed by the governor;
(r) 3 non-voting members appointed by governor:
Telecommunications representative;
Medical system representative;
Engineer in wireless networks;
(s) 4 non-voting commissioners, directors, or their designees for the following departments:
Public Health;
Telecommunications and Cable;
Technical Assistance and Technology Office;
Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation.

Chairmanship, legislative and policy decisions for reports to the Commonwealth shall be decided by vote of all members with voting status. Commission members shall elect a chair by majority vote, who may be replaced at any time upon majority vote.

No voting member or spouse of voting member of the commission shall have a history involving current telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility industry clients or job dependency; nor shall any voting member have an current investment portfolio conflicts of interest, including in the areas of energy, telecommunications, IT, or utility. No voting member or spouse of a voting member of the commission shall receive funding or a job from telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility sectors in the two years following the commission’s final report. All commission members must file a statement detailing any relevant conflicts of interest as specified, including activities in relation to immediate family and extended family members – copies must be freely available to the putlic. These statement must be filed with the Secretary of State during the commission period and in the two years following closure of the commission.

The commission’s meetings and communications shall be subject to the Massachusetts open meeting laws so as to be transparent. The commission shall be assisted by and have access to the resources available to the legislature and the executive branch in its investigations. For commission members with financial hardship, a stipend may be offered for meeting attendance, not to exceed $40 per hour. As needed for the completion of its report or series of reports, the commission shall invite outside experts to present substantively in areas such as law, policy, electrical codes, information technology, insurance, electromagnetic reduction, science and engineering.

The commission shall file a report of its recommendations and proposed legislation or regulatory changes, if any, with the clerks of the House and Senate and with the chairs of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure not later than December 31, 2022, and may file a series of reports.

This is a 2019-2020 bill - this is so important! The bill is decent, but could be revised.

S. 1271 An Act Educating Patients on Environmental Health Risks such as Wireless Exposures – NOT ACTIVE

    • Summary: Patient education and health care quality control measures - divided into sections for each part.
    • Sponsor Constituent K. Beatty (LTL Director)

Such a bill may not be worth moving forward due to likely losing a legal challenge. Please consider the bill below to require a standard format for warnings.

Cellphone labeling was recently blocked by a ninth circuit federal Appeals Court in an ordinance, and appears to have the backing of the U.S. Supreme Court due to a remand requesting reconsideration based on certain decisions.

For this reason, state cellphone labeling may also face legal challenges.

Senator Cyr submitted a cellphone labeling bill in 2019-2020, MA S. 130, and may resubmit. Below there is a recommended rewording.

"For safety, The Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pocket or the phone is otherwise in contact with your body when the phone is on and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely."

Since a specific cellphone warning label has been prohibited by a federal appeals decision, instead recommended is a standard format for warning labels that can can be implemented for all new manufactured goods by a set time (a year?) from pasage of the act, and that:

      • Requires all manufacturer warnings, for any product,
        1. to be accessible for reading before purchase of any product;
        2. include on product packaging clear directions for accessing warnings and any relevant requirements of use necessary to avoid harm;
        3. be written in simple language.

A bill requiring approval of cellular infrastructure by the local governing authority will likely be resubmitted by Sen. Keenan.

This is a small step in the right direction, but we recommend a few changes in the text as follows to apply the rule to the entire state:

An Act relative to wifi and cellular infrastructure along rail lines

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or its successors, including but not limited to the Division of Public Transit in the Massachusetts Surface Transportation Authority shall be prohibited from constructing, erecting, placing and/or maintaining any monopoles or antennae to support wi-fi or cellular service within the City of Quincy and the towns of Braintree, Holbrook, Abington, and Rockland, without approval from the local governing authority, which in a city having a Plan D or Plan E charter by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the city council, in a city not having such a charter by vote of the city council, subject to the provisions of the charter of such a city, and in a town by a majority vote of the board of selectmen.

A bill to allow opting out of smart meters will likely be resubmitted by Sen. Michael Moore unless passed in 2020. We support the bill, as written below, but would create an additional bill or add:

      • addressing solar incentives, such as a requirement that solar incentives allow for use of analog meters without penalty;
      • a requirement for a digital opt-in when new utility meters are needed; or
      • going forward, a replacement with analogs of all transmitting meters.

An opt out is a step in the right direction of stopping smart meters. The problems of smart meters are manifold, including: (a) intense wireless exposures; (b) circuitry and fire hazards; (c) frequent billing errors; (d) surveillance; (e) additional energy and other expenses; (f) variable billing and remote shut off likely to hurt the poor.

An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights

SECTION 1. Chapter 164 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 116B the following section:-

SECTION 116C: Smart/wireless utility meter information

a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Electromechanical analog meter”, means a purely electric and mechanical device, using no electronic components, no switch mode power supply, no transmitter, no antenna, and no radio frequency emissions.

(2) “Utility company”, shall mean an electric, gas, or water company, or town or city-owned utility or other utility provider.

(3) “Wireless meter” shall mean: Any transmitting metering device with electronic components and/or any electric or battery operated meter that is capable of measuring, recording, and sending data by means of a wireless signal from a utility consumer or member to a utility company, municipality, or cooperative association in a manner utilizing one-way communication, two-way communication, or a combination of one-way and two-way communication either through the meter itself or through a device ancillary to the meter. Common names include, but are not limited to, AMR, ERT, smart, AMI, and Comprehensive Advanced Metering Plan CAMP.

(4) “Equivalent technology” shall mean utility infrastructure that communicates data using wireless frequencies, but which may be undisclosed due to proprietary rights.

b) The department of public utilities shall direct utility companies to provide ratepayers the following:

(1) a choice of the type of utility meters to be installed and operated on their places of residence, property or business; among the choices offered shall be the installation and ongoing operation of an "electromechanical analog meter"; and

(2) the ability to retain and operate an “electromechanical analog meter” on an ongoing basis at no cost; and

(3) the right to replacement of a wireless meter with a non-transmitting electromechanical meter at no cost.

c) The utility companies shall be required to obtain the ratepayer’s written consent:

(1) before installing wireless meters or "equivalent technology" on the ratepayer’s property and

(2) before altering the functionality of said meters.

d) The utility companies shall provide written notice to ratepayers within 90 days of the effective date of this act for the purpose of informing said ratepayers if wireless meters have been installed on their properties. Ratepayers shall have the right to request that the utility companies remove said wireless meters and install in their place electromechanical analog meters that emit no radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation. There shall be no cost or other periodic usage charges to the ratepayer for such removal, replacement installation, and use of a non-wireless utility meter. The utility company shall promptly comply with such removal and replacement installation request made by the ratepayer to said company.

e) Utility companies are:

(1) prohibited from shutting off service to a ratepayer based on the ratepayer’s utility usage or on the ratepayer having electromechanical analog meters;

(2) prohibited from imposing any disincentive on a ratepayer for not consenting to the installation or use of wireless meters;

(3) required to notify ratepayers in writing that the installation and use of wireless meters are not mandated by state or federal law and are not permitted without the ratepayer’s consent;

(4) prohibited from discriminating against ratepayers who may have medical conditions that are exacerbated by exposures to pulsed microwave radio frequencies; and

(5) prohibited from installing "equivalent technology", such as direct wireless connection to devices in the home or business, on poles or in any other manner near the home or business of an individual requesting a non-transmitting meter.

f) The department of public utilities shall establish terms and conditions to comply with the requirements of this section.

g) This section shall take effect upon its passage.

A bill to allow libraries to hard-wire using state library funds, S. 1867, will likely be resubmitted and may be improved.

This needs sponsors in 2021 - this was previously put forward on behalf of co-chair Kirstin Beatty by Sen. Humason, who has left that office.

An Act reducing library non-ionizing radiation exposures from wireless and electricity

SECTION 1. Chapter 78 of the General Laws is hereby amended, in Section 19G, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraph:-

The board shall use funding to encourage public libraries to reduce non-ionizing radiation exposure, including from use of wireless communications and electronic technology, through hard-wiring connections, segregating areas of exposure, product purchase, and other means to reduce non-ionizing emissions from technologies.

The following bill was submitted in 2019-20 for hard-wired investment. Several questions:

    • Is this the best option?
    • Can the cost be shunted on industry?

S. 207 An Act ensuring safer technology investment by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute- NOT ACTIVE


    • Summary: Adds accountability, safety & security to MBI mandate; requires use of funds for maintaining reliable, hard-wired grid & for hard-wiring public spaces including State House
    • Co-Sponsor Rep. Carlos Gonzalez
    • Sponsor Constituent K. Beatty (LTL Director)

This sounds radical, but allows for a process - a ban may remove claimed FCC jurisdiction. Does not address satellite WiFi, however.

S. 1273 An Act banning especially dangerous wireless facilities, emissions, and products – NOT ACTIVE

    • Summary: To stop 5G and ban small cell towers in front of homes and allow banning other items deemed dangerous – note the state has this right based on Constitutional and federal law.
    • Sponsor Constituent K. Beatty (LTL Director)

A section of this bill provides quality control measures to encourage nursing homes and health care facilities to reduce EMR.

S. 1271 An Act Educating Patients on Environmental Health Risks such as Wireless Exposures – NOT ACTIVE

    • Summary: Patient education and health care quality control measures
    • Sponsor Constituent K. Beatty (LTL Director)

This is a bill introduced by a constituent on a regular basis that is not likely to pass - could be modified for greater chance of passage:

Bill S. 155 (2009), etc., S. 125 (2019) An Act to regulate the sale and use of microwave ovens – NOT ACTIVE

    • Summary: To prevent leakage, sale of dysfunctional ovens, ovens sized to allow pets inside, and ownership of more than one.
    • Sponsor Constituent Donald Kusser via Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Michael Morrissey

This is a bill from 2019-2020. May need to require proof positive of identify by registering board members as entities as well.

S. 1272 An Act registering wireless facilities to allow for monitoring and to ease access to contact information – NOT ACTIVE

    • Registers wireless facilities with state radiation department, which is to work with MA Broadband Institute to create a map. Registration is crucial for towns & citizen knowledge.
    • Co-sponsor: Rep. Carlos Gonzalez
    • Sponsor: Constituent K. Beatty (LTL Director)

The state could require of all cellular infrastructure the following:

    • proof of identify - registration of board members
    • electromagnetic pollution insurance
    • bonds
    • ?