Legislation

State Legislation across the USA

Good bills can serve as models elsewhere. Yes, problematic state legislation exists (see NCSL dot org for examples and CT). Leaving out duplication, here are a few examples, available online via a key word search, to consider:

 

Digital & Electric

      • Hawaii SB433 SB2 (2019) Ruderman, Chang – to fund a social marketing campaign on proven methods to reduce screen time.
      • Massachusetts S. 294 (2019) Beatty(constituent) - (1) remove technology mandates set across all subjects in state standards & (2) allow schools to set screen time limits.
      • Maryland HB 1110 CH0244 (2018 passed) Health and Safety Best Practices – Digital Devices (Numerous delegates) – While well intended, results appear minimal because the law as modified only included the expertise of state departments, which tend to preach the status quo.

    • MA H. 588 (2019) Beatty (constituent) - makes collection of data unlawful  unless for legitimate educational need and  allows parent/ student opt out of technology
    • MA S. 295 (2019) Beatty (constituent) - school council monitors privacy, safety, and supports creation of a related curriculum

    • California AB 272 (2019) Muratsuchi – allows public schools to limit cellphone use

    • Cell Phone Right to Know Act (2012, federal bill, main sponsor Kucinich) – To increase scientific funding, study, provide warning labels, and amend exclusions of environmental considerations in siting of wireless facilities.
    • Cellphone Right-to-Know Ordinance (Berkeley, CA) - informs consumer at point of sale cellphones are not to be held in close contact. MA S. 108 (2017) is a state bill modeled on this concept
    • MA S. 130 (2017) Cyr - Requires clear labeling of cellphone warnings on cellphone packaging

      • Montana HB 496 (2019) Dunn – Limits siting of antennas on or beside schools
      • Massachusetts H 587 (2019) Beatty (constituent) – K-12 schools set a policy to reduce electromagnetic exposures and hard-wire wherever possible.
      • Massachusetts S. 1982 (2019) Keenan – Requires local approval of railway cellular infrastructure.
      • Massachusetts S. 1273 (2019) Beatty (constituent) – Bans small personal wireless facilities and other wireless items.
      • Rhode Island H 5992 (2019) Price, Bennet, Quattrocchi, McNamara – Regulate and prohibit harmful geoengineering with a state law (geoengineering defined as manipulation of the environment from sources including wireless, electromagnetic, chemical, etc.)
      • MA S. 125 (2019) Kusser (constituent) - regulate sale of microwave ovens
      • MA H. 2030 (2017) Dykema - neatly written to adopt best practices for wireless in schools, but problematic in allowing wireless use & installation
      • MA S. 2079 (2017) Beatty (constituent) - idealistic bill demanded criminal penalties for use of cellphones or wireless on school property

      • Massachusetts S. 207 (2019) Beatty (constituent) - Requires the state assigned authority, MBI, to invest only in hard-wired infrastructure, prefer community ownership, and adds accountability
      • Massachusetts S. 1867 (2019) Beatty (constituent) - allows use of state library grants to hard wire libraries

        • WI Assembly Bill 526 (2003-4) Rep. Groenemus, J. wood, Black, Ainsworth, Berceau, Young, and A. Williams; , Sen. George, Risser – Consumer bill of rights on stray current with financial penalties to utilities
        • WI Assembly Bill AB754 (2001-2) – Like above bill, but includes a utility surcharge to help cover costs of a remediation board
        • California mandates that schools test electromagnetic fields - powerline frequencies
        • Electricalpollution dot com/legislation dot html has additional ideas and shared the above legislation.

    • MA S. 1271 (2019) Beatty (constituent) - patient education, nursing home and hospital quality controls
    • MA SD. 2256 (2017) Beatty (constituent)- required training for doctors on electromagnetic sensitivity
    • MA S. 2080 (2017) Beatty (constituent) - detailed idealistic bill included insurance coverage and care for electromagnetic sensitivity

      • Montana HJR 13 (Dunn, Olsen) – Passed House – Urging local control of wireless providers and amending federal law to account for environmental effects.

Commissions may be dangerous: Commissions can easily be politicized, intimidated and misused.  Unless the outcome is certain to be positive and composed of the right people, resolutions are a better choice to draw favorable publicity.

Setting up a good faith commission: We've worked on a revision - it is posted below. Not perfect, but nevertheless gives an idea of possibilities.

      • In New Hampshire HB 522 (Abrami, Sherman) was passed to establish a wireless commission and the result appears successful and sincere in gathering information. The Commission to Study the Environmental and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology can be found on the state legislature website with links to documents and conversations.
      • Hawaii (HRC197 and HCR178 -2019); Louisiana (HR 145 – 2019  Abramson – passed – note that advocates say this Louisiana bill is an industry front); New Jersey (AB260 – Tully); New York (SB 1607 passed, S 7922); Oregon (SB 283 – 2019), and Massachusetts.
      • Alaska (SB 142 – 2019 – Begich) put forward a bill to require a report from the department of health and human services of independent studies on wireless impacts, followed by recommendations from the department of education.
      • MA SD. 2212 (2017) Beatty (constituent) - investigative commission with power to banish wireless - an example of what not to expect!
      • Alternative commission wording by Beatty, co-chair:

Resolved, Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission to research the impact of electromagnetic (EMR) and radiofrequency (RFR) radiation on consumer protection, public health, and and the environment, and determine, if detrimental, how to allay health and financial repercussions, the former being of primary importance.

The commission shall be composed of the following 21 members, as follows:

    • (a) A legal representative appointed by Attorney General;
    • (b) A nominee of the Massachusetts Teachers Association;
    • (c) One union member nominated by the 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 Community Action Works;
    • (i) One pediatric doctor nominated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics;
    • (j) One representative or lawyer nominated by the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action;
    • (k) A representative nominated by the American Civil Liberties Union;
    • (l) A representative of the State House selected by the Speaker of the House;
    • (m) A senator of the State Senate selected by the President of the Senate;
    • (n) A representative of small business appointed by the governor;
    •  (n) 3 non-voting members appointed by governor:
        • Telecommunications representative;
        • Medical system representative;
        • Engineer in wireless networks;
    • (o) 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.

Commission members shall elect a chair by majority vote, who may be removed upon majority vote.

Chairmanship, legislative and policy decisions for reports to the Commonwealth shall be decided by vote of all members with voting status. No voting member or spouse of voting member of the commission shall have a history of or current telecommunication, energy, IT, or utility industry clients or job dependency; nor shall any voting member have current telecommunications, energy, IT, or utility direct financial investments exceeding the sum of $5,000. No voting member or spouse of a voting member of the commission shall receive funding or a job from telecommunication, energy, IT, or utilities in the two years following the commission’s final report. All commission members must file a statement of any relevant conflicts of interest as specified above, including in relation to immediate family members, i.e. parents, children, siblings, uncles, aunts, with the Secretary of State during the commission period and continuing through each year until two years after the commission ends. These statements must be made public by the Secretary of State.

The 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. 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 31st 2022, and may file a series of reports.