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Friday
Jan192018

Ohio HB 402 & Microcell Legislation

This week, The Ohio Telecom Association and AT&T were looking for support on a Microcell Bill that would drop soon. The Bill is a rehash of the Telecom Microcell Bill previously passed in, what some believe, an illegal Bill that violated Ohio’s single subject law. Historically, Bills in Ohio have been One Bill-One Subject.

 

 

The 2017 Microcell Legislation was packaged with Puppy Mill and Anti-Minimum Wage Bills and passed by the Ohio House and Senate. CWA opposed the Bill at that time; and it was passed on, pretty much, a party line vote. Dozens of cities and municipalities filed suit against Ohio for passing this bill as a violation of Single Subject and Home Rule.  

 

It now appears that, instead of fighting this in court for years, the State has negotiated with the major city mayors to the point they now support a new version of the Bill.  This Bill has not been assigned a number yet but, according to sources, will be dropped in the Government Accountability Committee soon.

 

Another piece of Legislation, HB 402, which limits Service Standards on basic telco service, limits PUCO authority over mergers and buy-outs, changes Lifeline rules, and allows higher rate increases on these lines (see attached HB402-I), had its first hearing on Jan 16.     

 

We need you to call your House Reps and Senators at 1-800-282-0253 and advise them that the Communications Workers of America opposes HB 402 because it hurts customer service, hurts those on lifeline, and hurts our members' job security.

 

We also oppose any Microcell Legislation because, to date, our members have not been assured this new Microcell work. Please encourage the Representatives to make the Telecoms accountable in guaranteeing all new work derived is assured to our members.

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