MARPA HEARING UPDATE


The committee hearing for House Bill 136, Missouri Amateur Radio Parity Act (MARPA) was conducted (Jan 24th) in Jefferson City, MO. Approximately twenty Missouri hams filled the hearing room in support with ten of those prepared to speak on behalf of the Bill before the committee. Due to time constraints, however, we were only allowed four testimonies. Those testifying were Lawerence Gonnello, Sr, ACØFD, Gary Vaught, W9TIG, Randy Schulze, KDØHKD and Ward Silver, NØAX. Rep. Mike Moon, District 157, voiced his basic support for the amateur radio service, but raised his concern about "violating" private, land-use agreements. He then suggested that hams could place antennas in a stealth design such as wire along the eaves of a roof or in the attic as ways to continue to operate without breaking HOA rules. Additional questions were asked from Reps., Phil Christofanelli, District 105 and Paul Fitzwater, District 144 about the size of an antenna. Rep. Jerome Barnes, District 28, Rep. Paul Fitzwater, District 144 and Rep. Phil Christofanelli, District 105 all stated that they were in favor of the Bill. While I believe we could have done a better job in answering the questions about antenna size, I believe that overall the committee received the information they needed to make a favorable decision to pass it out of their committee. The only person testifying in opposition to the Bill was Jim Durham representing the HOAs and, in the end, he basically stated that he believed that something positive could be worked out to satisfy everyone.
Now we wait for the committee to bring it up for a vote. In the meantime, we need to continue to contact our respective representatives and ask for their support. I encourage everyone to utilize our website, www.marpa.us, as there is plenty of information and resources to help you in contacting your Missouri State Representative and Senator. There is also a Blog where you can contribute to the discussion about this Bill and other ham-related issues. You may have an experience or some knowledge about this which can help us all in our communicating the positives of this Bill.
Thanks to all who attended the hearing and especially those who testified on behalf of us all. This was only the beginning so stay vigilant and ready to act.


73,

Larry Scantlan, KEØKZ