MARC - Cincinnati's Club For Amateur Radio - 147.345+

Ohio House Bill 158 Passes Senate Floor Vote

Wednesday, April 25
Nick Pittner, K8NAP
State Government Liaison

Ohio amateurs? antenna legislation cleared a major hurdle today when H.B. 158 was approved by the Ohio Senate. The Bill has now passed, though with minor differences, in both the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate and our ultimate goal of having this legislation become law appears to be within reach. The two remaining steps are, first, consideration by the House of the amendments made by the Senate. Those amendments essentially deleted the 75? ?presumption? of reasonableness for tower height. The standard under the bill as passed is similar to that required by FCC regulation PRB-1, which is ?reasonable accommodation? and ?minimum practicable? regulation of antennas. Unlike PRB-1, however, the Ohio legislation places the burden of proof on any legislative authority denying a request for zoning variance to demonstrate compliance with the Ohio statute.

We believe that the House will be supportive of the changes made by the Senate, as both of the primary sponsors, Representatives Stebelton and Okey, have indicated their support and members often defer to the Sponsors when differences such as these arise. Following House reconsideration the next stop is Governor Kasich, who must approve the legislation in order for it to become law. Even that approval does not instantly transform the Bill into law, as a 90 day waiting period will be required before the law goes into effect. Notwithstanding all of that, today?s vote was a milestone in our nearly 5 year effort to secure passage of this legislation. We continue to believe that this legislation will make it easier for many Ohio amateurs to more fully enjoy their hobby as well as to prepare for and participate in emergency communications as the need arises.

73,
Nick Pittner, K8NAP
State Government Liaison

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