Not what we hoped but still hope ahead.
Three weeks prior to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, it came to our attention that amendments needed to be added to SB 0857 and HB 1397. We obtained consultation from cell tower attorney Andrew Campanelli who confirmed that certain items did indeed need to be added to our bill. We drafted the amendments and they were sent to Senator Bowling who sent them to the State Legal Department to be officially added to the bill. This was three business days prior to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. For reasons of which we are not aware, the amendments were not completed until the end of the third day, March 30th, which was ‘past the deadline’ for Senator Bowling to include them in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting. An extreme disappointment!
Because of this, Senator Bowling rolled the Senate meeting to the next week. Representative Rudder was not allowed to also roll her meeting to the following week, which would mean the bill would be voted on first in the House. Both Senator Bowling and Representative Rudder decided that to have the bill presented in the House before the Senate would cause the bill to fail. Senator Bowling also felt there was lack of needed support in the Senate for SB 0857 to succeed.
Therefore, on Tuesday, March 30th, Senator Bowling and Representative Rudder, the state officials that have sponsored SB 0857 and HB 1397, decided that the bill should be moved to next session, January 2022.
We asked Senator Bowling and Representative Rudder if they would run the bill this session anyway, but their decision was firm noting that would not be best to do. SB 0857 and HB 1397 is a very strong bill and would stay ‘alive’ if moved to next session. It would be most appropriate to thank Senator Bowling and Representative Rudder for their commitment to sponsor the bill and also Senator Becky Massey and Representative Justin Lafferty who as co-sponsors supported our efforts from early on.
Thank you to all the many people over these past few weeks who have called/emailed their senators and representatives and took the time to respond to our emails! Because of your courage to call, they were confronted with the many risks in allowing unregulated wireless facilities throughout our state and neighborhoods. Our state officials are seeing the growing number of Tennesseans who are strongly opposed to this violation of their property rights, health, safety, and privacy.
If you are feeling discouraged, please note that it usually takes a year to work a bill before coming to session. We were able to obtain sponsorship by Senator Bowling and Representative Rudder, write the bill, and gain support from passionate citizens like you in only 3 months. This bill would have not gotten as far as it did without you!
This legislative session has given us a jump start opportunity to be organized statewide to get back local control of the placement of wireless facilities to protect residents and property owners.
So this is a call out! If you would like to be a part of the team to strengthen our effort to gain support of this bill for the next session, Jan. 2022, please contact us editor@GetYourPowerBackTN.com.
We are working residents and parents like you, all very busy. If you are passionate about this issue and feel you have skills that would help, we need you! If we have a large and organized team throughout the state, with an excellent bill like SB 0857 and HB 1397, we do believe we can win next session.