Regarding the May 31 Under the Dome article “House bill could give faster 5G wireless networks green light”: The N.C. House of Representatives rushed and approved House Bill 310, which allows telecommunications companies to place 5G facilities in neighborhoods, on multi-family housing, schools, recreation centers, day cares and more. 5G facilities emit a type of radiation that is expected to have greater health impacts than that emitted from cellphones.
This dangerous bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. Hopefully the Senate will reject the bill and take the time to understand 5G. Citizens are unaware of how invasive this technology is, and they must be consulted before being forced to accept it.
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A different aim
I shook my head as I read the June 2 editorial, “Sen. Trudy Wade takes aim at newspapers with two costly bills.” Rather than engage in a reasonable debate on the merits of the legislation, the newspaper used its platform to launch a personal attack against me.
A bipartisan Senate took action to delete a special carve-out in the Workers’ Compensation Act that prevents newspaper delivery workers from being classified as “employees” of their publications entitled to benefits such as unemployment insurance, payroll taxes and workers’ compensation coverage – as long as multiple criteria are met.
This legislation was partially inspired by a series published in The News & Observer describing how some North Carolina companies gain an unfair competitive advantage by improperly treating their workers as independent contractors and neglecting to pay unemployment insurance, payroll taxes and workers’ compensation coverage. It seems that the same industry that brought the problem to our attention should recognize this inconsistency between what they report and editorialize on, and support this important reform to protect workers.
As for my other bill allowing local government to post legal notices on their websites, rather than newspapers, it increases access to public and legal notices by providing local governments an option to make those notices free to view on their own websites. This bill is a win-win: It provides those who cannot afford or who do not wish to subscribe to a newspaper with free access to important information while saving tax dollars and increasing teacher pay.
While some for-profit news corporations oppose this bill out of their own self-interest, it is not the government’s job to subsidize them, and they are absolutely welcome to revamp their business models and lower their rates to compete in the free market. Besides, we have already seen several North Carolina cities and towns adopt this practice of posting public notices, and their local newspapers are doing just fine.
Sen. Trudy Wade