Senate panel will have say on PRA


As expected, the schedule-challenged Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the Performance Rights Act – and make a fifth attempt to deal with the reporters shield, on Thursday 10/15/09.

The Committee has been hampered first by the Finance Committee, which has a great deal of cross-membership with Judiciary. Its lengthy work on health reform repeatedly robbed Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of a quorum. When he finally got a quorum on 10/8/09, he used all the time he had to mark up a bill on the Patriot Act.

The session is on the schedule for Thursday at 10AM. The Committee will officially consider S. 448, Free Flow of Information Act of 2009 and S.379 Performance Rights Act. There is also one more bill and several nominations up for consideration.

Additionally and no doubt peripherally from the broadcast point of view, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday 10/14/09 at 2:30PM on distracted driving. Although every once in awhile a driver may be distracted by some especially compelling radio programming, we suspect the thrust of this hearing will involve the automobile distraction de jour, text messaging. However, the announcement did leave that to one’s imagination, adding only this subtitle: “Managing technological and behavioral risks.”

RBR-TVBR observation: One of these times, this panel is actually going to mark these bills up. We do not want to have to update the old phrase “third time’s the charm” to accommodate double-digits.