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Kansas Becomes 26th State to Have PRB-1 Law

05/07/2008

After an unsuccessful attempt eight years ago to get a PRB-1 type bill signed in Kansas, radio amateurs in that state have succeeded in becoming the 26th state with a PRB-1 law on the books. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed HB 2805 into law on April 9. The bill, written by Rep Arlen Siegfreid (R-15), passed unanimously in both the Kansas House of Representatives and Senate. It takes effect July 1, 2008.

Known as the Kansas Emergency Communications Preservation Act, the new law concerns federally licensed Amateur Radio Service communications. According to the governor's office, the law "prohibit[s] a city or county governing body from taking any action that precludes federally licensed amateur radio service communications, or that does not conform to federal regulations related to amateur radio antenna facilities."

The new law states that if a municipality takes any action that regulates the placement, screening, number or height of a station antenna structure, the action must "Reasonably accommodate federally licensed amateur radio service communications; and constitute the minimum regulation practicable to carry out the legitimate purpose of the governing body." Antenna support structures constructed prior to the bill's effective date "are exempted from subsequent changes in zoning regulations...and may be repaired as required."

JD Spradling, KC0NYS, of Olathe, Kansas, is chairman of the committee that led the charge to get a PRB-1 law on the books in that state. He commented: "Many local zoning boards don't give FCC regulations adequate consideration when making zoning decisions and across the country amateurs have found that state laws are a more effective tool for influencing local zoning regulations. So beginning in the 1990s, amateurs began lobbying for legislation that would place PRB-1-type language into their state laws."

Upon hearing the news that Governor Sebelius signed the bill into law, Spradling said, "This venture has been successful because we have had a great team effort all the way through the process, from all who stepped up -- from our state and local representatives, to our subject matter experts and the PRB-1 Committee members from Miami County, Kansas, as well as everyone else who had been proactive in the 2008 Kansas Legislative process for your fellow hams."



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