Governor Vetoes SB 649
Counties, Cities Praise Action to Preserve Local Authority
Just before the midnight deadline on October 15, Governor Jerry Brown announced he had vetoed SB 649, the so-called small-cell bill, which would have usurped local authority over siting telecom equipment. This was welcome news for CSAC, the League of California Cities and other organizations which had formed a coalition to oppose the bill. Local leaders from throughout California praised Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of the measure that would have gutted local control and put the interests of the wireless industry over those of California residents.
SB 649 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would have given wireless providers unfettered ability to install bulky cellular equipment on any street light or traffic signal as well as public libraries and other public buildings without permission from local governments, input from the public or fair compensation for city and county residents.
“There is something of real value in having a process that results in extending this innovative technology rapidly and efficiently. Nevertheless, I believe that the interest which localities have in managing rights of way requires a more balanced solution than the one achieved in this bill,” said Governor Brown in his veto message.
California State Association of Counties President and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson: “We want to offer our deepest thanks to Governor Brown for his veto of SB 649. This bill would have allowed telecom companies to usurp local authority and install unsightly equipment on public property with little or no local input. The veto of this bill puts the telecom companies on notice that they have to sit down with local governments and address this issue fairly, and in a way that recognizes local government authority.”