Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the PIRATE Act H.R. 583 by unanimous consent. The legislation passed the House last year. Unfortunately, we ran out of time in the Senate. Under Congressional rules, we had to begin the process all over again.
We want to thank Congressman Paul Tonko (D NY 20th ) for sponsoring this important legislation. Without Congressman Tonko there would be no bill. As drafted the legislation would give the FCC additional tools to combat illegal pirate radio stations:
- Increases the fine for pirate stations to $2 million ($100,000 per violation)
- Requires the FCC to conduct pirate radio enforcement sweeps
- Streamlines the FCC’s enforcement process
- Recognizes the validity of states that have laws against Pirate radio (like NY)
- Creates an easy to use database to identify legitimate stations from those that have been determined to be illegal
This is an important first step. We now move on to the Senate. Last year we had the support of 99 Senators, but were blocked at the last minute by Senator Rand Paul. We believe we have fixed the issue, and look forward to moving the bill in the Senate.
We also want to thank Congressman Chris Collins (R. NY 27th) for championing this issue for several years. All members of the New York delegation supported the legislation.
To see the press release by Congressman Paul Tonko click HERE.
To see a copy of the legislation click HERE.
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