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ARRL, US House Members Coming Through to Support H.R. 1301


[UPDATED 2015-04-15 1254 UTC] Many ARRL members have answered the call to urge their US House member to co-sponsor The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R. 1301 — helping to raise the list of co-sponsors to 39. But ARRL Regulatory Affairs Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, said the campaign continues, and more voices are needed to join the chorus.

“We have had a good initial response from our members in support of our grassroots efforts, but we have a long way to go,” Henderson said. “Our Washington team has met with dozens of members of Congress and congressional staffers over the past month.”

Henderson said the ARRL has forwarded another 426 letters from ARRL members to Washington for delivery to House members representing 132 Congressional districts in 34 states. “These letters are a key piece in the puzzle of pushing HR 1301 forward,” he said. “We encourage all ARRL members to get actively involved.”

If approved by Congress and signed by the president, The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would direct the FCC to extend to private land use agreements its PRB-1 policy rules requiring reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications. Those private agreements are better known as deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs. At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.

Henderson advised members, as they work with members of Congress to encourage their support of the legislation to thank them their time. “Do it in writing or in an e-mail,” he said, “and if they do become a co-sponsor, make a special effort to thank them for their support. Henderson said such courtesies will leave a lasting impression with lawmakers and their staff members. “The more positive interaction we have between the Amateur Radio community and our elected representatives, the better our chances in attaining the results we desire,” he said.

A regularly updated H.R. 1301 page on the ARRL website includes key “talking points” and other information for Amateur Radio delegations or individuals to use when approaching US House members for their support.

US Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced H.R. 1301 on March 4 with 12 original co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure. Efforts are under way to have a companion bill introduced in the US Senate.

The most recent H.R. 1301 co-sponsors include US Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Jared Huffman (D-CA).




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