US House Cosponsor List for Amateur Radio Parity Act Grows
The list of cosponsors for the US House version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 (H.R. 1301) continues to grow. The addition of Rep Stevan Pearce, KG5KIQ (R-NM), and Rep Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) as cosponsors on February 1 raises the total to 120 cosponsors. They are among four cosponsors to sign on to the bill since the start of the year. The other two are Reps Robert Brady (D-PA) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), who became cosponsors on January 12 and 13 respectively.
One of a small handful of hams in the US House, Pearce got his ham ticket in November, after reaching out to then-Rocky Mountain Division Director (now Second Vice President) Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, and New Mexico Section Manager Ed James, KA8JMW, to find out more about ham radio. He joins his House colleagues Reps Daniel Benishek, KB8TOW (R-MI), and Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. During a January 12 hearing on H.R. 1301, Walden called the Amateur Radio Parity Act “a commonsense bill” and urged his colleagues to support it. Brady, Kaptur, Pearce, and O’Rourke may have heeded his advice.
A League-led effort to encourage members to urge their lawmakers to become cosponsors of the House and Senate measures continues. League representatives will be at the 2016 ARRL National ConventionFebruary 12-14 in Orlando, Florida, hosted by the Orlando HamCation, to assist members in writing their members of Congress.
H.R. 1301 would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions, such as deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions. An identical US Senate measure, S. 1685, has attracted 3 cosponsors. It cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last November.
More information about the legislation is on the ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act web page.