H.R. 555 — a new “Amateur Radio Parity Act” bill — has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which passed in the House late last summer but failed in the waning days of the US Senate to gain the necessary support. As with H.R. 1301, the new measure introduced on January 13 in the 115th Congress was sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR). Walden now chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, to which the new bill has been referred. H.R. 555 will get an initial airing in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. When H.R. 1301 came up in committee, Walden spoke forcefully in favor of the measure, which ultimately attracted 126 House cosponsors.
“Rep. Kinzinger has again stepped forward to introduce this important legislation,” said ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. “His commitment stems from exposure to what the Amateur Radio community brings to the service of all communities. The ARRL and radio amateurs nationwide owe Rep. Kinzinger a resounding ‘Thank You!’ for his efforts on their behalf.”
The new bill would entitle a radio amateur living in a deed-restricted community to install and maintain an “effective outdoor antenna.” The bill’s language preserves the existing language of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1, as well as all important case law with respect to municipal land use regulation.
H.R. 555 calls on the FCC to establish rules prohibiting the application of deed restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio communications on their face or as applied. Deed restrictions would have to impose the minimum practicable restriction on Amateur Radio communications to accomplish the lawful purposes of homeowners association seeking to enforce the restriction.
The ARRL Board of Directors is expected to discuss the pending legislation when it meets January 20-21.