WITA Works 2-10-17
What's New this Week
Senate Bill 5711 Passes out of Committee
Now that we’re out of committee a series of conversations have been kicked off by Senator Reuven Carlyle to resolve significant differences between stakeholders. SB 5711 includes the removal of the sunset date on your state fund. It also contains two controversial sections: setting more specific parameters for determining pole attachment fees and allowing small cells, the type placed on poles and buildings, to be managed through the right-of-way permitting process rather than the zoning process used for large cell sites. Cities and the PUDs are using misleading scare tactics to defeat the bill. Our little but significant section is receiving very little notice, although we do have challenges. The WUTC has concerns about the way the bill is written and more general concerns about the fund itself. I have a conference call with Brian Thomas and Lauren McCoy, their new Director of Legislative Affairs, tentatively scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The bill drafting issue is easy to resolve. I’m unsure what other concerns may exist.
It Takes a Village
This was an especially busy week in terms of hearings and meetings with legislators. As always I am grateful for the prompt support I receive from our members, Rick Finnigan and Dan Coyne. Dale Merten testified at two hearings and then attended several follow-up meetings with me. One of those meetings opened the door just slightly to further negotiations with major cell phone providers regarding whether or not WITA members can bid on providing service to cell towers.
Rick fed me data, often within minutes of my requests. Other members responded to requests for information, vetted my more controversial committee presentations, and called legislators at my request. Dan is a constant advisor on the hill and covers meetings for me when I can’t be in two places at once.
Because I’m a bit oblivious to the rest of what’s going on in our world I also appreciate the bits of information sent my direction. Sometimes it’s old news but often it’s new and different information. The additional eyes and ears are much appreciated.
A core group of WITA members meets via our bridge number to stay up-to-date on what’s going on with the legislature and to advise Dan and me on how we should be proceeding. If you would like to participate in this group please let me know and I’ll add you to the group.
What's New on www.wita-tel.org
Members Information Online Directory Updated
Good news! The Member Telephone Companies contact information is now listed on the online directory with detailed information including counties served, services and contact names.
WITSA Scholarship Application is OPEN - Due date April 7th
Scholarship awards are available to dependent children of full-time employees of Washington Independent Telecommunications Association Members and Associate Member companies. Scholarship awards are based on academic achievement and extra-curricular activities.
WITSA Scholarship awards are not one-time awards. Students who have received a scholarship in the past are encouraged to reapply in subsequent years to be considered. Please submit the application by April 7th, 2017.
Events – SAVE THE DATE
Check out the website Events page for information about more upcoming events.
Spotlight Your Company
Would you like to highlight your company to our members? If you would like to be our next Premier Member Spotlight, email email@example.com today!