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Judge strikes down Missouri laws on cellphone towers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri judge has struck down a pair of new laws that had limited the ability of cities and counties to regulate cellphone towers.

Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled that lawmakers violated procedural requirements of the state constitution when passing the bills earlier this year.

She said the bills' title of "relating to telecommunications" did not encompass everything in the bills. She noted that one bill also contained provisions related to railroad crossings and utility rights-of-way. Another bill contained provisions related to cable TV services, which she said are not legally the same as telecommunications.

Joyce also said lawmakers had changed the bills' original purpose.

Gov. Jay Nixon and legislative leaders had touted the legislation as a way to encourage expansion of high-speed Internet and wireless phone service.

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