Friday, April 2, 2010

Technology Legislation Update

Source: Technology for Ohio's Tomorrow

Passage of HB 276
On March 16 the Ohio House passed the Telecom Modernization Act by a vote of 93-0. The move follows the Senate's passage of Senate Bill 162, a companion bill which passed unanimously in December.

The telecom reform bills address the regulatory imbalance between traditional phone services and mobile and Internet-based services by streamlining Ohio's telecommunications regulatory structure and removing outdated language.

Technology for Ohio's Tomorrow (TOT) applauded the House's action.

"The Ohio House has joined the Senate in passing this important legislation that will upgrade and modernize Ohio's telecom laws," TOT executive Director Scott Schweitzer said in a statement. "This bill is all about jobs and infrastructure investment. House members should be commended for their hard work."

Before the telecom reform legislation can be signed into law, one of the chambers must approve the other's bill. Schweitzer called on the Ohio House and Senate to be swift in passing a final measure.

"We must act now to provide the Ohio telecom industry with the tools it needs to grow and develop," said Schweitzer. "Jobs and infrastructure investment are on the line."

Texting While Driving Legislation
Following a nationwide trend, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill on March 24 that would ban writing, reading and sending text messages while driving. Drivers who get caught would be fined up to $150.

The legislation passed by the House would allow officers to pull a driver over for texting alone. In the first six months of the new law, violators would get off with just a warning.

The state Senate must still approve a ban before texting-while-driving is outlawed. Twenty other states have already banned the practice.


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