New "PRB-1" Law Now in Effect in Ohio
On May 15, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law granting comprehensive rights to Amateur Radio operators in that state. Several key players in the successful effort to enact a “PRB-1” law in Ohio were present for the signing, including Section Manager Frank J. Piper, KI8GW; Rick Swain, KK8O; Bill Carpenter, AA8EY; Steve Katz, N8WL, and Constance Barsky, WD8ODC. ARRL Great Lakes Division Director James Weaver, K8JE, was also at the signing.
Ohio SM Frank Piper provided some background:
“In the past three years, we have had four versions of this bill in the Ohio Statehouse. In the last State Assembly, these bills died in Committee. In this current Assembly, everything lined up for us, and House Bill 158 made the entire journey from Introduction to the Governor Kasich’s signature.
"We had to make a few revisions to HB 158 during its travels through committee hearings, but in the end we finished with an Act that places the full language of CFR 47, Part 97.15 into the Ohio Revised Code. In addition, language at the end of the law states: ‘Any legislative authority that denies an application for approval of an amateur station antenna structure shall state the reasons for the denial and shall, on appeal, bear the burden of proving that the authority's actions are consistent with this section.’ This language removes the burden of proof from the Amateur Radio operator and places it on the legislative authority.
“State Government Liaison Nick Pittner, K8NAP, did a tremendous job over the past several years, staying on top of the status of bills that were running their course on both sides of the Statehouse. Nick knew when to call in key people to testify to Committees, and was instrumental in the process of negotiating the required revisions when requested.
“My thanks go out to all the Amateur Radio operators in the Ohio Section who called, wrote and e-mailed their State Representatives and Senators to support this legislation. Without their grass roots work, this victory would not have been possible.”