MA Legislation Timeline – RFR

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PDF: MA_Legislation_Timeline_RF

2009

 

Constituent Donald Kusser first introduces and continues to introduce S. 155, An Act to regulate the sale and use of microwave ovens to prevent leakage, sale of dysfunctional ovens, ovens sized to allow pets inside, and owning more than one. The bill is introduced by request via legislators Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Michael Morrissey.
2011 State Rep. David Paul Linsky introduces H. 2901 for a special commission to study the effect of fields from electricity emanating from overhead or other electric transmission wires due to a cancer cluster in his district, cosponsored by Rep. Anne Gobi (D), Sen. Karen Spilka (D), and Sen. James Eldridge (D). Sadly, he includes representatives of the American Cancer Society and Environmental League of Massachusetts, which have conflicts of interest. The bill continues to be filed and sent to study to the present day.
2013 MA state Rep. Thomas Conroy (D) and Sen. James Eldridge sponsor H. 2926, and from 2015 to the present Senator Michael Moore is the lead sponsor of a bill to allow free use of non-transmitting electromechanical meters which continues to be sent to study to present day. In 2022 the bill has 10 sponsors, with several running for office (Hinds, Gouveia, DiZiglio).
2015

 

3 more bills are introduced in the MA state legislature, by request, which fail to move forward in 2015. Through then Sen. Donald Humason (R), resident Kirstin Beatty submits SD. 2256, a short bill to require physician training ‘on non-ionizing radiation and electrohypersensitivity’ by request. This bill is not resubmitted in following sessions.

After Kirstin’s suggestion, Kirstin Beatty and Cece Doucette work on commission legislation. By request Kirstin Beatty submits commission bill SD. 2212; this bill overreaches, proposing a commission develop new standards, guidelines, labeling, restrictions, proposed legislation, and further consider full or partial bans. Kirstin’s bill is not resubmitted in following sessions. Cece Doucette works with her senator, Sen. Karen Spilka (D), who submits by request the more manageable S.1222 to investigate health impacts, but which lacks a conflicts of interest clause.

In the 2017-2018 state session, Sen. Karen Spilka sponsors the same bill as S.1268, amended with a conflicts of interest clause lacking teeth. Cosponsors are Rep. Jack Lewis (D), Sen. James B. Eldridge (D), Sen. Bruce E. Tarr (R), and Rep. Kevin J. Kuros (R). The bill is reported favorably by the Joint Committee of Public Health, moving forward until halted in the committee on Senate Rules. Senator Karen Spilka becomes President of the Senate in the next session, and cannot the sponsor this bill. This bill is not resubmitted.

2015 The ballot question committee Citizens for Safer Radiation Technology is formed and chaired by residents Kirstin Beatty and Patricia Burke to pass an investigative commission bill. The legislative proposal is approved by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, but does not gather enough signatures.
2017

 

Resident Kirstin Beatty submits by request through then-legislators Sen. Humason and Rep. Aaron Vega, the following bills:

* S. 2080, including a health insurance requirement to cover: mitigation services for leukemia and lymphoma; patient education; diagnosis and treatment of sensitivity; nutritional assessment and treatment. The bill also includes quality controls on exposures in medical centers and nursing homes; recognition of electromagnetic sensitivity; and a requirement medicine is based on credible and current science. This bill is sent to study. In 2019-2020, a similar bill, S. 1271 An Act Educating patients on environmental risks such as wireless exposures, is filed and sent to study – this version added a section to require that a fair, vetted list of measurement and mitigation specialists for wireless and electricity be kept by the health department for the public. An updated version is submitted in the 2021-2022 session, sponsored by Representative Patricia Duffy, which is sent to study.

* S.2079, which establishes reducing exposures as a K-12 policy and rejects accountability based on meeting technology targets. The bill prohibits the use of wireless devices and transmissions on school grounds with rare exceptions and provides for scaled violation penalties. An antenna deemed harmful by a medical doctor’s knowledge must be removed. Also, a section allows library grants to be used to hard wire public libraries. The joint committee of public education moves the bill forward, but it does not further advance. Muted parts are resubmitted next session.

Legislators introduce:

* Spurred by constituents Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D) introduces H. 2030 for ‘best management practices for wireless’ in education as decided by state education boards and while requiring continued wireless installations. The bill receives an extension before being halted and is resubmitted for 2019-2020 and again sent to study. Realizing the bill requires wireless before the hearing, Kirstin Beatty is a critic. At the end of 2020, Kirstin and a constituent meet with Rep. Dykema, who is reluctant to resubmit and states she will only submit the same bill for continued wireless and will not make changes. Pressed for action, Rep. Dykema submits the bill without changes, which is sent to study for 2021-2022. From 2017 – 2021, cosponsors include Rep. Jack Lewis (D), Sen. Michael Moore (D), Rep. Angelo Puppolo (D), Bradford Hill (R), Rep. Thomas Stanley (D), Rep. James Hawkins (D), Sen. Bruce Tarr (R), Rep. Jose Tosado (D), Rep. Denise Provost (D), Rep. Thomas Stanley (R), Rep. Lindsey Sabadosa (D), Sen. Jo Comerford (D), Rep. Kenneth Gordon (D), & Rep. Dylan Fernandez (D).

* Sen. Julian Cyr (D) and representatives Sarah Peake (D) and Timothy Whelan (R) sponsor S.107 which requires fine print warnings for wireless devices be legible and easy to locate, including directions on the outside of a new purchase to the warnings. A new draft of S. 107 and S. 108 is created, completely changed (see below).

* Sen. Julian Cyr (D) and Rep. Timothy Whelan (R) introduce S.108 for a warning label on all wireless devices sold. A new draft of S. 107 and S. 108 is created, completely changed (see below). Sen. Cyr still resubmits the label legislation as S. 130 in 2019-2020 with cosponsors Rep. Bradford Hill (R), Sen. Bruce Tarr (R), Sen. Michael Moore (D).

* S. 108 and S. 107 above are combined and changed in 2017 to an investigative commission bill, S.2431, by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure with the assistance of a research analyst.

In 2019-2020 Sen. Julian Cyr (D) submits the above investigative commission bill as S.129 and Rep. Jack Lewis (D) submits this as H. 2885, which move swiftly forward until critiqued and halted by lobbying from local residents who fear a whitewash.

Kirstin Beatty initiates amendment development for a better investigative commission. Initial amendments continue to improve into 2020, when she reaches out to other advocates to request support, including to Cece Doucette who suggests amending with New Hampshire Senator Patrick Abrami’s bill, but that bill does not substantially prevent the technology conflicts of interest in Massachusetts politics.

In 2021-2022, Sen. Julian Cyr resubmits a further revised but still problematic bill. Amendments. which need legislative sponsors ASAP, are proposed to increase stakeholders and limit conflicts of interest.

2019

 

Additional bills are put forward in the 2019-2020 legislative session.

Through her legislators, Kirstin Beatty submits by request the following bills:

* H. 587, An Act reducing public school nonionizing radiation and wireless exposures, states that every school shall, where possible: turn off wireless and hard-wire the Internet; set aside a segregated area for equipment; confine wireless to after-school hours. Every school shall have a policy, subject to review by stakeholder committee, to check and mitigate exposures from wireless & electricity. Also, changes to the department of education’s brief mission include environmentally healthy school buildings. The bill is sent to study.

In 2021-2022, an altered and excellent version is submitted by Rep. Patricia Duffy and Kirstin Beatty, H. 105, An Act reducing non-ionizing radiation such as wireless from early to higher education, that requires, as within financial means: reducing non-ionizing radiation, hard-wiring broadband services, and establishing monitoring systems and best practices education in public schools and higher education. Objectives and progress are to be set and used for accountability. Boards from early to higher education are to create guidelines and require those easy and cheap to do, setting reasonable deadlines for all other recommendations. Cell towers and similar telecommunications antennas are prohibited on the grounds of public institutions and schools – I’m uncertain whether this prohibition can be applied to private institutions.

Also, in 2021-2022, section 10 of Kirstin Beatty’s H. 112 requires the secretary of education coordinate a plan to hard-wire public education facilities, reduce non-ionizing radiation, and support professional development for safer and critical use of technology.

* S 1867, An Act Reducing Library Non-Ionizing Radiation Exposures from Wireless and Electricity, allows state library grants to be given to hard-wire libraries. Sent to study, and resubmitted as part of a larger bill.

* S. 207, cosponsored by Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, is An Act ensuring safer technology investment by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute and adds accountability, safety & security to MBI mandate; requires use of funds for maintaining reliable, hard-wired grid & for hard-wiring public spaces; restricts monopoly; requires transparency; allows MBI neglect of mission to be a cause of action; et cetera, and is sent to study, perhaps as changes are too broad and fair (e.g. transparency). It is not resubmitted, but now a new set of amendments to only require hard-wired investments exists and needs sponsors in 2022.

* H. 2011, An Act Providing for environmental risk fact sheets from the Department of Public Health, requires the Dept. of Public Health to prepare & publish fact sheets on environmental health risks on wireless, electricity, and screen time within one year; rely on non-industry experts and credible science; name authors of fact sheets; and continue to prepare fact sheets on environmental health concerns submitted by the public or refuse in a public written statement. This is sent to study, having received little attention despite being shared with advocates.

* S 1273, An Act banning especially dangerous wireless facilities, emissions, and products, to set a timeline to ban small cell towers in front of homes and allow banning of other items deemed dangerous. The bill is sent to study.

* S 1272, cosponsored by Rep. Carlos Gonzalez (D), is An Act registering wireless facilities to allow for monitoring and to ease access to contact information and creates a map and registers wireless facilities in a joint effort of the MA Broadband Institute and radiation department, with fees set by the department. A statement is added to the state radiation department statutes to acknowledge wireless and electricity can be harmful.

* S 294, An Act Limiting school screen time, removes state mandate requiring students to use technology (this begins in Pre-K) and allows schools to set school screen time limits. Why? To prevent screen time ill health, data profiling, profiling projections, exploitation, depersonalization, & corporate control. It goes to study.

* H 588, An Act Requiring privacy protections and supporting safer technology in schools, allows opt outs of technology by students/parents for privacy/safety/clout; recommends hard-wiring; makes illegal misuse of school data (e.g. for political ID, marketing, & abuse); restricts data retention to that necessary for education.

* S 295, An Act Accounting for technological privacy and safety in schools with local and state committees, adds accountability with local committees to monitor school privacy, safety policies & develop safer technology curriculum. State committee convenes to provide models and assistance.

Patricia Burke and Pamela Steinberg introduce by request the following bills:

* H 2888 and H 2840, to correct false financial reporting of the National Grid smart meter pilot program being misused to assert cost-savings of wireless utility infrastructure. The bill does not advance and is not resubmitted.

Legislators introduce the following bills:

* Based on constituent concerns, Sen. John F Keenan (D), Rep. Bruce Ayers (D), Rep. Tackey Chan (D), & Rep. Daniel Hunt (D) introduce S. 1982 to require approval from locally elected bodies for railway antennas exclusively in the communities of Quincy, Braintree, Holbrook, Abington, & Rockland, which is sent to study, resubmitted in 2021-2022 and sent to study again.

* Rep. Bradley Jones (R), Rep. Bradley Hill (R), Rep. E. Poirer (R), Rep. S. Gifford (R), Rep. Paul Frost (R), Rep Todd Smola (R), Rep. Randy Hunt, Rep. Steven Howitt, Rep. Matthew Muratore (R), Rep. Michael Soter (R), Rep. James Kelcourse (R), Sen. Bruce Tarr (R) introduce H.383, An Act relative to a 5G technology task force, for a commission of Big Telecom interests, executive officers, and legislators to DRAFT 5G DEPLOYMENT legislation and regulations ‘fairly’. Mistakenly, H. 383 is peddled as beneficial by an advocate who promotes the bill and ignores warnings, which leads to campaign to halt the bill as it moves forward through several committees until halting in the House Ways and Means. In the interim, Kirstin Beatty proposes amending the bill if it keeps advancing with an investigative commission bill.

The bill is reintroduced in 2021-2022 with fewer sponsors; Rep. Maria Duaime Robinson (D) joins as a cosponsor; and the bill dies.

2019 Because of concerns about some advancing legislation, initial amendments are drafted by Kirstin Beatty continuing development into early 2020, when she reaches out to other advocates for support for her proposals.
2021 In addition to previously mentioned bills, new state bills are introduced in the 2012-2022 state legislative session. Newly elected Representative Patricia Duffy personally sponsored several bills providedd by Kirstin Beatty, some listed above, but is not able to read them all. Her favorite is the following bill:

Rep. Patricia Duffy introduces H. 107, An Act regulating privacy and technology in education, which requires that PreK-12 and higher education data collection be minimal, necessary and serve an educational purpose. Institutions are to set data processing agreements with providers and minimize technology use.

Through her legislator Rep. Duffy, Kirstin Beatty submits by request bills:

* H. 114, An Act studying technology impacts on police, firefighters, and emergency and security personnel, invites first responders to examine how to address health impacts of technology with a few experts and a black lives matter representative.

* H.112 An Act hard-wiring state offices and investing in hard-wired communications, to invest in wired tech at Massworks, Massachusetts Broadband Institute, the executive office of info tech, the director of wireless & telecommunications. The MBI board constitution is changed to bring in public health and privacy advocates. The Ed. commissioner is to develop a plan to hard-wire public educational institutions. Also requires an annual, public audit report from telecommunication companies and utilities, and sets penalties for lack of compliance, changing from an optional audit.

* H. 113, An Act requiring wireless insurance, requires providers of antennas for telecommunication, video, and television providers carry insurance, including commercial liability without an exclusion for health impacts. Personal devices and appliances are exempted.

* H. 109, An Act improving non-ionizing radiation regulation and monitoring, supports reporting of all cellular infrastructure with names of owners, etc., public mapping of sites, qui tam exposure monitoring, state exposure monitoring, a public listing of consultants, dedicated monitoring employees, and allows for state fines — adaptation of original statutes.

* H.110 An Act halting 5G high frequencies and close proximity antennas sets a timeline for removal of wireless facilities with a focus on 6 GHz frequencies and higher as well as for microcell removal. In the draft posted online at the MA legislature, a typo needs fixing and obscures the requirement for identification of detailed information on ownership of facilities, with fines for violations. An option is given to allow state certification for non-wireless products. The last section allows a lessee renting property and a mobile services customer to cancel the contract with service providers.

* H.111 An Act requiring better power quality and reduced radiation from utility infrastructure requiring utilities protect privacy and insure electromagnetic public exposures fall within ranges of ‘slight concern’ based on Building Biology guidelines.

* H. 106 An Act regulating screen time in early and K-12 education allowing school communities to set screen time limits and setting limits on screen time in early education. The bill requires that Massachusetts state standards remove mandates for screen time from PreK on up, unless specific to the subject.

2022 Problematic bills remain as the 2021 -2022 legislative session nears closure:

* Rep. Kenneth Gordon’s H. 3309 is a problematic bill. The carrot is inclusion of a section to allow individual opting out of smart meter connections, but for a fee. The Trojan Horse is every distribution company must implement the ‘smart’ grid or advanced metering infrastructure and passing the liability buck from utilities to the state and possibly sharing customer data. Utilities have already requested the same or more from the MA DPU, but legislators need to reverse the ‘smart’ dangerous grid.

* Rep. Cyr’s S. 186 Resolve relative to disclosure of radio frequency notifications needs amendment or should be blocked for if passed Governor Baker would be decisive in the composition of the committee, when he has favored utility and technology interests. He would make the appointments because the bill would pass before his term ends in January 2023.

2022 AMENDMENTS NOW!

Because of the concerning bills above, because concrete action to reduce wireless exposures appears stalled, and because leadership is suspected of being at fault, created focused amendments to hard wire, for an honest wireless investigation; & a safer, hardened grid.

We need courageous sponsors right now, as finding the right time to amend is not easy and time is running short – action must take place long before 31 July, when the formal session ends as legislators often end up pulling late nights to pass legislation in big chunks as the end nears.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, please contact your state legislators and ask them to:

How do I contact my legislators?

You can find contact information for your legislators online or, if impossible, the main statehouse number may work: (617) 722-2000.

These are the best ways:

  1. Meet face to face, when they in your district, at events, or in their office.
  2. Phone call – leave a concise message with their aide.
  3. Write a letter.
  4. Email – this is not the best way because these are often not read, but bulk deleted.

We are facing a wall that we need to climb – please make contact!

 

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