ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, expects to see the list of cosponsors for the US House version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R. 1301 — top 100 soon after Congress reconvenes following its August recess. As of August 24, the measure had attracted 94 cosponsors. A US Senate version of the bill — S. 1685 — also has been introduced. President Craigie again encouraged ARRL members to urge their congressional delegations to cosponsor the bills. Summertime ARRL conventions also have been affording more members a chance to make their voices heard.
“Success doesn’t happen by magic,” President Craigie said this week. “Offices on Capitol Hill have told us that without constituent expressions of support, cosponsorship — and, eventually, votes — will not happen.”
The identically worded Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 measures would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions. It would require the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions” (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances, and the FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.
President Craigie said ARRL staff members and officials have helped members to generate well over 1000 letters to Senators and Representatives at ARRL conventions this summer. Local radio clubs have held letter-signing events at their meetings too. The ARRL this week forwarded more than 1000 such letters for hand delivery to Capitol Hill.
“But we need a lot more member action now, to push our bills ahead,” she added. “We need letters, phone calls, e-mails from every ARRL member to our Senators and Representatives. We need every ARRL member to urge our friends in our clubs, on our nets, and on our social media, to take 5 minutes today to do something critically important for the future of Amateur Radio.”
AMSAT is also encouraging its members to urge lawmakers to cosponsor the two bills. The satellite organization has pointed out that reaching orbiting spacecraft via an appropriate ground station is something that may be denied to satellite enthusiasts living in neighborhoods where outside antennas are restricted or prohibited.
The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 page on the ARRL website has complete information on how to become involved.
“Capitol Hill needs to hear from every friend of Amateur Radio by the end of August,” President Craigie said. “Every voice, your voice, makes a difference.”