Hoping to pave the way for the newest advances in wireless technology, the House on Saturday passed a bill that would establish the framework for companies building 5G infrastructure on local government and Metropolitan Council property.
While the bill would make technical changes and add definitions to telecommunications statutes, it also would give counties, cities and towns the ability to charge a rental fee — up to $150 per pole each year – to issue permits to wireless companies to use current poles on public rights-of-way, among other fees for maintenance and associated electricity costs.
O’Neill said passing the bill was urgent because these companies want 5G in place before the Super Bowl comes to Minneapolis in February 2018.
“This is our opportunity to capture 5G market for all of our residents and all of our constituents,” O’Neill said. “This is an exciting time and an exciting bill.”
Concerns over the bill range from what the technology might look like on public property to saying it was the state interfering with local governments’ rights-of-way. Others, like Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls), said the bill is another “blackmail” effort by telecommunication corporations to use public space for technology that’s already being put in place.
“This is scary stuff. I’m frankly getting tired of these big companies coming into our cities, into our communities, into our state house and saying, and threatening us, that we’re going to be left behind; we’re going to be left out of the modern economy, unless we bow down to their demands,” Thissen said. “That’s exactly what has happened with this bill.”
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
The budget process explained — and why it matters
$45 billion plan is about a 10 percent increase over current biennium
Governor urges lawmakers to pass a big capital investment bill during budget-setting year; House Speaker has expressed doubt over bonding this session
It was a day of selfies, swearings-in and standing ovations as the House opened the 2017-18 biennial session Tuesday.