OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
- Gubernatorial candidates Richard Cordray (D) and Mike DeWine (R) took part in a second debate on Monday at Marietta College. Topics included algae blooms in Lake Erie, right-to-work and the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). You can watch the debate in full HERE.
- Ohio will be the recipient of approximately $5.6 million from Uber in a settlement over a data breach in 2016, according to Attorney General Mike DeWine. The money is part of a $148 million settlement payment nationally. Each Uber driver who applied to drive before November 2016 will receive a $100 payment.
- Forbes magazine declared Columbus as the top rising city for start-up businesses in the nation. Cincinnati was ranked in sixth place on the same list.
NEW BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST
Here is a piece of legislation introduced this week that would have an impact on Ohio's municipalities:
- HB 736 - TAX VOTES. Sponsored by Rep. Brinkman (R - Cincinnati), would require certain subdivisions governed by a board comprised of at least one unelected official to obtain the approval of the legislative body that created the subdivision before levying a tax.
DETAILS RELEASED ON FCC'S RULING IMPACTING SMALL CELL WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE DEPLOYMENT
Last week, the League announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had issued a declaratory ruling and order that largely preempts how municipalities regulate the rollout of small cell wireless infrastructure, the actual ruling has been made public. You can read it
The order effectively overrides sections of HB 478, a compromise that both municipal leaders and the telecommunications industry agreed upon that became law earlier this year. Many of the provisions in HB 478 that allowed municipalities to provide for the safety of their communities as well as protect the aesthetics of their rights-of-way have been rendered obsolete.
One of the provisions that will prove difficult for most municipalities is the establishment of a "shot clock" regarding the processing of applications for small cell deployment on municipal infrastructure. If the infrastructure is existing, municipalities will only have 60 days to process applications from telecommunications companies. If new infrastructure must be constructed, that deadline only extends out to 90 days. For many local governments, this is not an adequate timeframe for processing applications - especially when they receive multiple applications from multiple telecommunications companies. HB 478 had established a shot clock that would change to accommodate a greater influx of applications from telecommunications companies. Under the new ruling, municipalities may find themselves without adequate staffing to meet the new deadlines.
Additional new provisions include limiting what a municipality can charge as an application fee. This new limit is substantially lower than what most municipalities charge currently. There are no provisions within the order that mandate telecommunication companies must extend services to unserved areas within a municipality's jurisdiction. This could make it difficult for municipalities to incentivize the closing of the existing and detrimental digital divide.
As new information becomes available regarding this order and ruling, we will make it available to our members.