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State-Level PRB-1 Law Now on the Books in Illinois

07/09/2012

Following in the footsteps of various other states, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 1390 -- a state-level PRB-1 law -- on June 30, effective immediately. PRB-1 (as codified in Section 97.15(b)) was released by the FCC in 1985 and states that “[s]tate and local regulation of a station antenna structure must not preclude amateur service communications. Rather, it must reasonably accommodate such communications and must constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the state or local authority's legitimate purpose.”

“By the summer of 2011, it was looking like HB 1390 might never again see daylight, explained ARRL Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG. “But on February 14, 2012, Illinois State Representative Charles W. Krezwick, WV9C -- with the very able assistance of ARRL Illinois State Government Liaison Charlie Richey, K9DUE -- got the bill moving again. Once these two people took charge, it took 79 days for House approval, 20 more days for Senate approval, and 38 days before Governor Quinn signed HB 1390 into law. Rep. Krezwick, while new to the Illinois General Assembly, is an experienced politician who is willing to go the distance to support Amateur Radio.”

The Illinois Municipal Code was amended by adding Section 11-13-1.5 as follows:

Amateur radio communications; antenna regulations. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no ordinance or resolution may be adopted or enforced by a municipality after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly that affects the placement, screening, or height of antennas or antenna support structures that are used for amateur radio communications unless the ordinance or resolution: (i) has a reasonable and clearly defined aesthetic, public health, or safety objective and represents the minimum practical regulation that is necessary to accomplish the objectives; and (ii) reasonably accommodates amateur radio communications.

A municipality may not regulate the antennas or antenna support structures that are used for amateur radio communications in a manner inconsistent with this Section. This Section is a limitation under subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units of powers and functions exercised by the State.



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