ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has issued an urgent call for League Members to contact Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation members representing their states to urge their support of S. 1685, the US Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015. President Craigie said the bill could be scheduled for mark-up in the committee as early as next week, and that opponents to S. 1685 have been rallying their supporters. She said the ARRL and its legislative consultants on Capitol Hill “are hard at work” to ensure that the mark-up goes favorably. President Craigie called for “a blast of support for the bill” from ARRL members living in states that committee members represent.
“We learned this morning that opponents of the legislation have asked their people to contact Senators on the committee to communicate what can only be called bald-faced lies about the legislation’s intent and effects,” President Craigie said on November 11. “They are the same lies addressed in our video.”
The ARRL also has written the committee to reiterate the reasons the legislation is needed and to contradict negative misinformation about its effects.
President Craigie said the message — by telephone or e-mail — is simple: “I’m a constituent and an Amateur Radio operator. I urge Senator __________ to support S. 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, when it comes up for a vote in committee. Thank you.” Visit Contacting Your Congressional Representatives on the ARRL website for contact information or see the list in the website version of this story.
“Whether ARRL members use e-mail or telephone, the essential thing is to do it now and to urge other hams in their states to do it now,” President Craigie said.
S. 1685 and its US House twin, H.R. 1301, call on the FCC to extend the limited federal pre-emption of PRB-1 to cover private land-use restrictions such as deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). If the legislation becomes law, radio amateurs living in antenna-restricted communities would have the opportunity to negotiate with homeowners associations to install antennas that reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communication.
Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 Picks Up US Senator Al Franken as a Cosponsor
US Sen Al Franken (D-MN) has signed on as a cosponsor of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, S. 1685. He is the second US Senate cosponsor since the bill was introduced in the upper chamber by Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) on June 25 with the initial cosponsorship of Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Franken signed on to S. 1685 on November 5.
|US Sen Al Franken (D-MN).|
“The culture of the US Senate is different than that of the House, and Senators do not sign on to cosponsor legislation as readily as House members do, so we’re especially pleased that Sen Franken has agreed to become the second cosponsor of this legislation,” said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. She said the ARRL team in Washington has visited the offices of many US Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill, and that their reception has been “cordial and interested.”
S. 1685 and its US House twin, H.R. 1301, call on the FCC to extend the limited federal pre-emption of PRB-1 to cover private land-use restrictions such as deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). If the legislation becomes law, radio amateurs living in antenna-restricted communities would have the opportunity to negotiate with homeowners associations to install an antenna that reasonably accommodates Amateur Radio communication. US Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R. 1301 on March 4 with 12 original cosponsors. The House measure now boasts 113 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.
ARRL Dakota Division Director and Minnesota resident Greg Widin, K0GW, said hams in his state are pleased that Sen Franken has chosen to lead his colleagues in cosponsoring S. 1685.
“Amateurs in Minnesota frequently serve the state in times of emergency and in all sorts of public service events,” he said. “The act will ensure that the many amateurs in CC&R communities are able to participate in drills, exercises, and everyday amateur communications via their home stations. These routine communications are the training ground for real-life events, where amateurs may be needed to supplement infrastructure-based communication services.”
President Craigie said the League appreciates the efforts of ARRL members in Minnesota who wrote Sen Franken to encourage him to cosponsor S. 1685, and she hopes that those who wrote will follow up to thank him for agreeing to sign on to the bill. Amateurs in Minnesota can thank the Senator via his website. Click on “Contact Al” on the upper right.
Visit the ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act web page for more information on this legislation and how you can get involved.