The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowners' association (HOA) or subject to any private land-use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January.
"Amateur Radio continues to be a critical part of our emergency communications operations," Wicker said. "Mississippians learned firsthand after Hurricane Katrina how Amateur Radio operators can provide a resilient, distributed network to first responders and disaster relief organizations when other communications tools fail."
"Amateur Radio operators provide an invaluable service to their communities by assisting local emergency communication efforts when disasters occur and main lines are down," Blumenthal said. "This bipartisan measure ensures that operators have access to the tools they need to support our first responders when lives are at stake."
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai applauded the bill in late January, saying that it would "help Amateur Radio operators, and take several steps to promote public safety."
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, expressed the League's appreciation to the Senate sponsors. "ARRL is grateful for the support of Senators Wicker and Blumenthal for sponsoring this important piece of legislation, and for advocating this bill for the past 3 years," he said. "Their continuing support is critical to the success of our efforts." President Roderick also thanked Senator John Thune (R-SD), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, for "championing the Parity Act in the Senate since the beginning of our effort."
The bill has enjoyed widespread, bipartisan support. In the 114th Congress, nearly 130 cosponsors signed onto the legislation in the House and the Senate. The legislation, which strikes a carefully crafted balance for all concerned parties, is the result of months of work culminating in the accord reached by ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI). The measure provides for the guarantee of an effective outdoor antenna while protecting the aesthetic concerns of HOAs.
In a statement, ARRL said it looks forward to working with the bipartisan leadership of the Senate and the Commerce Committee to help move the Wicker-Blumenthal legislation through the Senate and to the President's desk.
Membership services restored
Access to the membership services have been restored, after a week of testing to debug errors. All registration paperwork has been processed to date, and cards printed and sent out. RAYNET e-mail is now fully operational, and members will now be receiving messages and weather warnings. The members area, contact info, news, and forum pages are back up and running and can be accessed as normal by password. Some updating may be required, but this will be minimal. Please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience problems.
Final call for RAY-Link
Don G3YQO has put out his usual call for contributions to this month's RAY~Link. These can be sent directly to him by email don.g3yqo @ gmail.com before the 18th July, please.
The database has now been restored, most of the member services are now available again. The service admins are still working through all the pages and links to make sure everything is as it should be. The National RAYNET-UK Committee of Management will keep you updated with further developments as they happen via this announcement page and the weekly news service..
Morning all - a bit of good news regarding the member services website. The database has now been restored - service admins can now start to go through the backlog of registrations and BPSS applications. The email service is now back up and running - you may have also noticed the weather warnings are now being received again. This temporary website is still being used and there are no plans to change this. The National RAYNET-UK Committee of Managementwill keep you updated with further developments as they happen via this announcement page.
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