Leahy tells Vermont alternative paper that LPFM vote is coming


The Local Community Radio Act seems to have gotten to the point where it has virtually no opposition on Capitol Hill, and it’s made it out of committee, but not to the floor of the Senate. But Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says it’s coming soon.

The newspaper is Seven Days, which calls itself Vermont’s Independent Voice. The writer of the Leahy article, Dan Bolles, is proud of the fact that both of the state’s senators, Leahy and independent Democrat caucusing Bernie Sanders, are co-sponsors of LCRA.

If there is essentially no opposition to the bill, he wanted to know, then why isn’t it a law by now?

Leahy said that the partisanship of the Senate these days is one reason. “This is a far different Senate than I have ever seen,” he said, citing filibusters going into triple digits. He also said there has been a good deal of much more urgent business.

He explained why he supports LCRA:  “Because I live in a rural area in Middlesex where I see more and more of our radio stations homogenized by out-of-state ownership. These low-power stations really give you a sense of what’s happening locally.”

As for the bill itself, he said, “It will pass. Soon.”

RBR-TVBR observation:  Just to recap, the gist of LCRA is to eliminate 3rd adjacency protection for incumbent FMs on the dial, which should open up numerous possibilities for new LPFM stations. The NAB managed to get some tweaks into the bill and is neither supporting nor opposing it.