This Week In Tech Policy
Governor Polis Delivers State of the State
Last Thursday, Governor Polis laid out his policy priorities in his first State of the State speech. Included in his remarks was a highlight of the importance of broadband access:
- “We also need to expand access to broadband. I’m eager to work with legislators to cut red tape that forces communities to go through costly and lengthy elections to build out their own broadband infrastructure. And at the same time, we’ll continue the good work of the Hickenlooper administration in supporting the creation of Strategic Regional Broadband plans to make high-speed internet access a reality across our entire state. In the 21st-century economy, broadband is critical infrastructure that everyone must have access to. Let’s work together to give it to them.”
- READ FULL SPEECH
New Bills Introduced and Action Taken on Legislation in the 2019 Legislative Session
- Since last week, the Colorado General Assembly has introduced several additional bills that may have an impact on tech which are listed below and has taken some action on previously introduced tech-related legislation. Throughout the legislative session you can see what bills CTA is monitoring through our CTA Legislative Tracker in the Member Only Content area accessed through your member portal.
- SB19-084 - Revised Uniform Law Remote Notarization
The bill authorizes notaries public to perform a notarial act on behalf of an individual who is not in the notary's physical presence. To perform a remote notarization, a notary must use an electronic system that conforms to standards established by rules of the Secretary of State, including using communication technology and keeping an audio-video recording of the notarization for at least 10 years. The bill establishes the standards that a notary must comply with to have satisfactory evidence of the identity of the individual seeking the remote notarization.
- SB19-078 - Open Internet Customer Protections in Colorado
The bill disqualifies an internet service provider (ISP) from receiving money from the high cost support mechanism if the ISP engages blocking lawful internet content, applications, services, or devices unless such blocking is conducted in a manner consistent with reasonable network management practices; engaging in paid prioritization of internet content; regulating network traffic by throttling bandwidth or otherwise impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, service, or use of a device unless the impairment or degradation is conducted in a manner consistent with reasonable network management practices; or not providing reasonable transparency regarding its network management practices. If an ISP is found to have engaged in any of these practices, it must refund any money that it received in the prior 24 months from the high cost support mechanism or from any other state support mechanism or other state funding source established to help finance broadband deployment.
The bill also requires the broadband deployment board to periodically review the FTC and FCC’s websites to identify any actions the federal agencies may have taken against an ISP that seeks or has received broadband deployment grant money from the board. It directs the Attorney General to develop guidance for consumers on how to file a complaint with the FTC to allege that an ISP has engaged in any of the practices that violate federal law regarding interference with the open internet. The department of law shall post the guidance on its website. It also requires a governmental body, when contracting for broadband internet access service, to give preference to an ISP that certifies to the governmental body that it will not engage in any of the practices previous listed.
- SB19-020 - Wildland Fire Airspace Patrol System
- The bill requires the center of excellence for advanced technology aerial firefighting to study and implement a system to patrol the airspace above a wildland fire to address the growing problem of people flying drones over wildfires. The bill passed out of its first committee this week.
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U.S. Considering Export Controls on Emerging Technologies
- The U.S. is considering imposing export controls on a long list of emerging technologies in a move to protect its lead over China in developing artificial intelligence, robotics and quantum computing.
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FAA Proposes Commercial Drone Regulations
- Federal air-safety regulators for the first time proposed allowing small drones to routinely fly over crowds of people and at night, long-awaited steps toward opening more airspace and commercial opportunities for unmanned aircraft. The preliminary rules, released Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration, call for enhanced training of ground operators and installation of anti-collision lights. The draft document also breaks new regulatory ground by creating separate categories of drones based on weight and other criteria, and then seeks to impose different levels of safeguards to prevent injuries in the event of a crash.
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Federal Shutdown Effecting Tech Issues
- A bipartisan bill with industry buy-in to elevate the position of the federal chief information officer may not move through the House until after the shutdown. And one of its sponsors says the lapse in funding is putting the government behind in tech recruiting.
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President Trump signed the OPEN Government Data Act into law
- Federal agencies must publish all public data in a machine-readable format and appoint chief data officers to oversee open data efforts under a new law. President Trump on Monday signed the OPEN Government Data Act into law, bringing years of debate and legal hair-splitting to a close. The transparency measure was tucked inside a larger bill to support evidence-based policy making.
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