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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB033 (1998)

ARLB033 Local CB enforcement bill passes Senate

ARRL Bulletin 33  ARLB033
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  May 14, 1998
To all radio amateurs

ARLB033 Local CB enforcement bill passes Senate

A bill giving state and local governments the power to enforce
federal regulations covering illegal CB transmitters has passed the
US Senate.  Senate Bill 608, introduced by Wisconsin Sen Russell
Feingold, was incorporated as an amendment into S 1618, the Consumer
Anti-Slamming Act, approved May 12 on a 99-to-1 vote (Sen Biden not
voting).  The measure, as redrafted from the original bill with
assistance from the ARRL, totally exempts Amateur Radio from its

The measure requires the FCC to provide technical guidance and
includes an appeals process.

It's not yet known if or when the entire bill will come up for a
vote in the House of Representatives.

In remarks read into the Congressional Record of May 12, Feingold
spoke about his cooperation with the ARRL and with hams in Wisconsin
and said the amendment incorporates a number of provisions suggested
by the League.

''First, the amendment makes clear that the limited enforcement
authority provided to localities in no way diminishes or affects
FCC's exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of radio,'' he said.

''Second, the amendment clarifies that the possession of an FCC
license to operate a radio service for the operation at issue, such
as an amateur station, is complete protection against any local law
enforcement action authorized by this amendment.''

Feingold pointed out Amateur Radio's tradition as a self-regulatory
service.  ''The ARRL is very involved in resolving interference
concerns both among their own members and between ham operators and
residents experiencing problems,'' he said.

Feingold introduced his original version of the bill nearly two
years ago after receiving complaints from constituents about
interference from illegal CB transmitters.  In 1996, the City of
Beloit, Wisconsin, passed an ordinance giving the city the power to
enforce FCC regulations concerning CB interference.


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