House Bill 1400 (PN 2072), introduced by Representative Frank Farry, establishes the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act. Again this session, the bill preempts local government zoning authority to manage the placement of small cell infrastructure in the local rights-of-way. HB 1400 is also more restrictive than the FCC Order that went into effect in January. Restrictions include lower application and rights-of-way management fees; no ability to prove actual costs and charge fees to meet those costs; larger antennas; and higher poles.
The text of this bill was available on June 11; a hearing was held on June 12; and the bill was scheduled to be voted out of the House Consumer Affairs Committee on June 17. A Legislative Action Alert (see Letters below) was sent to the membership on June 13 asking local officials to contact their House members and oppose the bill. The June 17 committee meeting was cancelled, rescheduled, and cancelled again.
As we enter 2020, we are expecting the House Consumer Affairs Committee to take up the bill once again and consider a comprehensive amendment. We will be forming our position on the amendment language, once it is shared with us in final form.