Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had the body putting in overtime on Saturday 12/18/10, and among other things, the senators passed the Local Community Radio Act during the afternoon. The vote was unanimous.
The bill had been held up by various senators, most of whom remained anonymous, but tweaks inserted in the House version designed to protect incumbent full power FM stations earned the support of the NAB and greased the wheels for House passage on a voice vote. The second seal of approval from the Senate had been considered all but a done deal, and now it is a done deal.
RBR-TVBR reported Friday, 12/17/10, the improved LPFM bill passed the House with a few tweaks by the National Association of Broadcasters. For complete details of the bill see the report: New improved LPFM bill passes the House
The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature, which is also a sure thing.
“A town without a community radio station is like a town without a library,” said Pete Tridish of Prometheus. “Many a small town dreamer – starting with a few friends and bake sale cash – has successfully launched a low power station, and built these tiny channels into vibrant town institutions that spotlight school board elections, breathe life into the local music scene, allow people to communicate in their native languages, and give youth an outlet to speak.”
Prometheus noted that the FCC had a role to play going forward, and said it was ready for that process to begin.
“After ten years of effort, a $2.2 million taxpayer-funded study, and new provisions to address this hypothetical interference, we are finally on our way to seeing new community radio stations across the U.S. This marks a beginning, not an end, to our work,” said Brandy Doyle, Policy Director for Prometheus. “For the first time, LPFM community radio has a chance to grow, and we’re ready to seize that opportunity.”