Today’s video starts with a walk down memory lane to HB 2365. This was a very complicated, major telecom bill that passed the Legislature in 2017. I was the only person in the Legislature who voted “no” on the final read.* I believe I was the last person to vote. Rep. Isela Blanc turned to me and said “You’re voting ‘no’? You should explain your vote.”

I didn’t explain my vote because my stance was part hunch.

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I originally voted “yes” on HB2365. (I remember being skeptical, but it was sold as no big deal.) I voted “no” when it came back from the Senate with amendments for two reasons. 1) The bill included a lot of accelerated depreciation, which I interpreted as a tax break for the telecom corporations. Utilities make plenty of money on us, and I’m not big on giving them tax breaks. I remember asking questions of the staff regarding the cost, and there really weren’t any clear answers. I probably didn’t realize back then that it is common for the Legislature to pass bills that have an unknown price tag. 2) HB2365 was very complicated and technical. I remember the explanation alone being pages long, and we had to make a decision very quickly. I voted “no” because I thought we really didn’t know what we were voting on.

Apparently, I was right. Not long after HB 2365 was signed into law, the House Republican media staff sent out a press release touting HB2365 as paving the way for 5G implementation in the state of Arizona. I consider myself a pretty tech savvy person, but I doubt that I even knew what 5G was in 2017 when we voted on it.

In 2018, two women from the East Valley came to visit me in my office. They wanted to thank me for my vote on HB2365. Since it had been a year, I asked, “What bill was that?” They handed me the Republican press release and said, “You are the only person who saw through what was happening.”

I corrected them and said, “I couldn’t figure out what was happening. It was so complex, and no one could answer my questions– besides the fact it was a tax giveaway.” When bills are overly complex, there are often hidden agendas.

In 2017, it seemed as if we didn’t know what we were voting on, and that is a big reason why I voted “no.” I have met with five people now who found me because of that suspicious, anti-tax-giveaway “no” vote.

Basically, HB 2365 greased the skids for 5G implementation in the state of Arizona and includes some preemption components that restrict what local governments can do regarding 5G implementation. 5G refers to the level of Telecom proficiency and Wi-Fi saturation that we “need” for the Internet of things.

Hundreds of thousands more Wi-Fi antennas will dot the landscape with 5G. No one is even talking about the blight that will be created with all of these antennas. These will be shorter antennas– closer to our heads and bodies, not high in the air as they are now. Also, they will be beaming into our houses to enable us to control our stuff (air-conditioning, alarm systems, appliances, etc.) with Internet of things apps. This is what is happening now with “smart apartments”.

What’s wrong with this? Corporate America will be collecting data on us, using it to manipulate us, and selling it to the highest bidders, often without our permission. The amount of data that they will be collecting on us with 5G is astronomical. Privacy is a huge 5G issue as far as I’m concerned. Besides that, I don’t see any need in my life for the Internet of things. I think the Internet of things is a hackers dream.

In addition to the privacy concerns, there are public health concerns regarding being in a live experiment regarding radio frequency exposure. Among the people that I met with was a scientist in radiation oncology and medical imaging at the University of Arizona. He cited many studies over decades that link exposure to different frequencies to health conditions. There is particular concern about the health effects of RF exposure to babies and children. As Grandma Grizzly, this has me on high alert. I don’t want anything that could potentially hurt the children of Arizona. There are a lot of unanswered questions about 5G.

Before the Legislature, much of my professional career focused on medical/public health communications, research and service. For 12 years, I was managing editor of the American Journal of Medicine. That said, I believe we need more research into the health effects of 5g.

After these meetings, I believe that the State of Arizona should look at what other states and countries have done regarding 5G regulation and implementation. Some European countries have banned 5G. Also, Europe has much higher RF standards for smart phones than the United States. What’s up with that? I’m learning a lot, and it only creates more questions in my mind. I think the Legislature needs to learn more about 5G and look at what other states are doing to regulate it and eliminate privacy and public health concerns.

We need slow down this self-driving car before it runs us — and future generations– over.

P.S. More recently, 5G has popped up again in the Arizona Legislature. Rep. Tim Dunn has proposed HB2311 which would expand HB2365 to Yuma, within 10 miles of the border. Apparently, that area was originally carved out of the 2017 bill because the Border Patrol thought 5G would interfere with their operations. I guess they figured out that 5G’s surveillance capabilities would be totally awesome for their operations. In addition, Dunn has proposed HB2415 which appropriates $1.1 million to Pima, Yuma, Santa Cruz, and Cochise Counties for “cameras and related equipment, software and services for southern Arizona border region enforcement.” These three bills– HB2365 (from 2017) and HB2415 and HV2311 (from 2020)– boil down to more surveillance for all of us. Don’t we have a right to privacy in the State of Arizona? I don’t want the government or Corporate America spying on me… anymore than they already are.

*Perhaps, this was a contributing factor to me being declared the most independently voting Legislator. (ATRA told me that. Hmmm.)

Cross-posted from PowersForThePeople.net. To have Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley’s video updates from the capital delivered to your inbox, follow PowersForThePeople. To view all updates from 2020, go here.

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