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California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill:

from The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 28 on July 19, 2003
Website: http://www.arrl.org/
View comments about this article!

California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill:

Recent efforts by proponents of California's Amateur Radio antenna bill apparently paid off July 14 when Gov Gray Davis signed Assembly Bill 1228. The measure, which cleared both legislative branches with unanimous votes, incorporates the essence of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into California law.

"Amateur Radio's message got through 'the pileup' in Sacramento," said ARRL Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD. "Thanks to all the hams in California who wrote cards, letters and e-mails urging their representatives and their governor to pass this legislation."

In a statement http://tinylink.com/?xzrT4PAls9, Davis cited the "thousands of hours of volunteer service" Amateur Radio operators donate in support of state and local government. Davis said ham radio volunteers play a crucial role in times of disasters or emergencies. "By providing a reliable communication system during an emergency situation, such as a terrorist attack, Amateur Radio stations provide an invaluable service to the state of California," he added.

AB 1228 was sponsored by freshman Assembly member Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga). Mike Mitchell, W6RW, spearheaded the Amateur Radio community's efforts to promote the bill. "Great news that Governor Davis signed AB 1228!" a delighted Mitchell reacted. "Congratulations to the hams of California!"

Goddard expressed similar elation. "This bill will give hams in California a fighting chance to have a reasonable antennas," he said. He also congratulated Dutton and his staff for shepherding the bill through committees and both legislative chambers without a single dissenting vote and thanked Mitchell for being "our sparkplug" on the bill. He also cited ARRL staffer Dean Straw, N6BV, and Pacific Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, for speaking on behalf of the bill in committee hearings.

The bill went to Davis for his signature on July 3, and Goddard and Vallio promptly mounted a campaign to have amateurs contact Davis and urge him to sign it. Davis had vetoed a similar bill in 2000, in part citing the cost for studies the legislature had required. The 2003 bill contained no such provisions. Davis now is facing the possibility of a recall election.

The new law requires any ordinance regulating Amateur Radio antenna structures not to preclude but to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communications, to allow amateur station antenna structures "at heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate Amateur Radio Service communications" and to constitute "the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the legitimate purpose of the city or county."

The most ham-populated state in the US, California becomes the 20th state to adopt PRB-1 legislation. The state is home to some 100,000 amateur licensees--almost 15 percent of the US total.

A copy of the measure is available on the California Legislature Web site http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1228_bill_20030630_en rolled.html.

Source:

The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 28 July 18, 2003

Member Comments:
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California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill:  
by K0EN on July 22, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Getting AB 1228 signed into law came through the efforts of many individuals. Here's the approach I took in my letter to Governor Davis, in case others might find it helpful in their own antenna battles:

Dear Governor Davis:

These are challenging times for California. Consequently, these are challenging times for your administration. Please allow me to suggest that your signature on AB 1228 will, without cost to the state, enhance California's emergency preparedness.

I am a physician medical director at BloodSource, a not-for-profit blood bank serving over 40 hospitals in northern California. I also co-chair the California Blood Bank Society's Emergency Preparedness Committee.

On September 11, 2001, California amateur radio operators proved their value to our state and to the nation in many ways. In particular, amateur radio operators opened a line of communication between BloodSource and the New York Blood Center, allowing us to anticipate their needs and ship 500 pints of fully tested, ready-to-transfuse blood products.

Yes, BloodSource maintains an amateur radio station staffed by volunteers, but our volunters weren't enough. An amateur radio operator with a home station in Roseville was the first in a line of amateur radio relay stations between Sacramento and Manhattan.

Sadly, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the citizen volunteers of California to maintain amateur radio stations in their homes. Covenants, contracts, and restrictions severely limit the installation of adequate amateur radio antennas. Your signature on AB 1228 could change that. Without compromising safety or aesthetics, AB 1228 would ensure "reasonable accommodation" of amateur radio antennas and support structures.

Amateur Radio operators have risen to their task during fires, earthquakes, and violent weather. They provide communications when other systems fail. I recently met a blood bank professional from Detroit, whose facility lost all landline and cell phone service on 9-11 because of damage to their provider's facility far away in Manhattan.

In these days of conflict and terror threats, Amateur Radio is a free, voluntary asset that can deliver emergency services when other systems are disabled. At a medical professional, I'm counting on you to help preserve this mission-critical asset.

Please sign AB 1228.

Yours sincerely,

Kenneth E. Nollet, MD, PhD
Associate Medical Director
BloodSource
1625 Stockton Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95816-7089
 
California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill:  
by K7LA on July 22, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Signature or not, we're still going to recall this lousy governor.
 
RE: California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill  
by WB8YQJ on July 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As a California ham that needed this bill urgently (plus more help with CCR's), Gov. Davis gets credit from me on this one. Arnold can wait till next term. de WB8YQJ/6
 
RE: California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill  
by K6TLA on July 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As of yesterday the end has begun for Mr. Davis. He'll be recalled on October 7. With his recent tripling of the car tax and other increases in confiscatory state taxes its a wonder any of us can afford ham radio.
 
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