Amateur Radio Parity Act introduced in US Senate




the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the sponsors of the Senate. The measure will guarantee, for the first time, all radio amateurs living in restricted deed communities governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas in their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to HR 555, which was passed by the US House of Representatives in January.

Amateur radio continues to be a vital part of our emergency communications operations,” Wicker said. “Mississippi residents learned firsthand after Hurricane Katrina how amateur radio operators can provide a resilient, distributed network to first responders and disaster relief organizations when other communication tools fail.”

“Amateur radio operators provide an invaluable service to their communities by assisting local emergency communications efforts when disasters strike and main lines are down,” Blumenthal said. “This bipartisan measure ensures operators have access to the tools they need to support our first responders when lives are at stake.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai applauded the bill in late January, saying it would “help amateur radio operators and take several steps to promote public safety.”

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, expressed the League’s gratitude to the Senate sponsors. “The ARRL is grateful for the support of Senators Wicker and Blumenthal for sponsoring this important bill and for championing this bill for the past 3 years,” he said. “Their continued support is essential to the success of our efforts.” Speaker Roderick also thanked Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, for “having championed the Parity Act in the Senate from the beginning of our efforts.”

The bill enjoyed broad bipartisan support. During the 114th Congress, nearly 130 cosponsors signed the legislation in the House and Senate. The legislation, which strikes a carefully crafted balance for all parties involved, is the result of months of work culminating in the agreement reached by the ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI). The measure provides for the guarantee of an effective outdoor antenna while protecting the aesthetic concerns of HOAs.

In a statement, the ARRL said it looks forward to working with the bipartisan leadership of the Senate and Commerce Committee to help push the Wicker-Blumenthal legislation through the Senate and the president’s office.

Source link


Comments are closed.