The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 – S. 1534 is alive, but with legislative action slowed to a glacial pace on Capitol Hill in recent months, there’s been no real progress to report since this past summer. At present, the bill is under consideration by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and it remains an active concern for ARRL. The League is working diligently to shake the bill loose and move it forward.
While it may appear that time is short, S. 1534 does not need to pass the Senate by this years’ end. We have until the current session of Congress adjourns, which is not until December 31, 2018. Once the bill passes both Houses, the FCC would still have to implement its essence in the Part 97 Amateur Service rules.
Introduced on July 12, 2017, S. 1534 marked another step forward for the landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsored the bill in the Senate. The US House version of the legislation, HR 555, passed the House of Representatives by unanimous consent in January 2017.