ARRL

US House Subcommittee to Consider Amateur Radio Parity Act

02/09/2016

The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, will be among three bills that the US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will consider in a Thursday, February 11, “markup” session. The subcommittee will gather on February 10 for opening statements only. When it reconvenes the next day, its members could vote to send the measure to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for further consideration.

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is chaired by Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who, during a January 12 Subcommittee hearing on H.R. 1301, called the measure “a commonsense bill” and urged his colleagues' support. Subcommittee members may submit in advance any amendments they might have to any of the bills being considered in the February 11 markup.

The House bill’s sponsor, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) also spoke in favor of H.R. 1301 at the January 12 hearing, explaining that hams in some neighborhoods “are outright prohibited” from erecting antennas on their properties. He cited Amateur Radio’s role in emergency communication support, and said his bill’s “reasonable accommodation standard” would not mandate placement, size, or esthetics regarding an outdoor antenna, leaving ham radio operators and homeowners associations to decide those issues.

“We just simply add the same standard that has been used successfully in municipal areas to other areas,” he concluded.

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. The bill has attracted 120 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle. An identical US Senate measure, S. 1685, has attracted 3 cosponsors. It cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last November.

At the ARRL National Convention February 12-14 at the OrlandoHamCation, ARRL representatives will be on hand to help visitors to generate letters of support to members of Congress.

More information about the legislation is on the ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act web page. 



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