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Welcome to the ARRL Oregon Section website
My goal is to make sure this website is always current during my term(s) as section manager. I want to have as many communication methods available as possible to hear what you in the Oregon section have to say. This is one of many ways for me to hear you. I welcome any suggestions for content. With the help of the section leadership, it will be added to continually. I look forward to working with you and am making plans to visit all the affiliated clubs in the state during my first year in office and hope to be able to participate in some of your activities. I have visited some ARES groups as well.

Also please keep in mind that this website is a work in progress and we will do our best to keep it updated with the information provided by our amateur radio community. Currently login access is limited primarily to the Oregon section cabinet. I am beginning to provide access to individuals designated by the DEC's for updating ARES-related information. As we make more features available you will be notified via the arrloregon Yahoo Group. Join the group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arrloregon/.

I also send regular informational emails to the yahoo group. Much of what I send will appear in the next SM report, but by being in the yahoo group, you get advance notice of the news. I also forward messages that come from the ARRL to section managers that may be of interest as well.

If you have information that you want posted or updated on this page, please send to me at ab7zq@arrl.net. If you submit news to that link, please notify me that it is there so that I can go look for it. We receive a lot of spam messages at that link.

Friday 13 February 2009
Legislative Update: Prohibiting Mobile Communication Devices in Automobiles
Legislative Update:
Prohibiting Mobile Communication Devices in Automobiles
Prepared by: Kevin Curry (KA7KYQ), volunteer legislative coordinator for Oregon

Background:

Five pieces of legislation have been introduced in the Oregon Legislature which have the potential to prohibit operating a two-way radio device while driving an automobile. The three pieces are very similar in how they are written and seek to expand the prohibition passed in 2007, which was limited to drivers under the age of 18. These bills would expand it to all drivers. Specifically, HB 2377 and SB 319 appear identical, HB 2526 includes a specific fine amount, HB 2038 includes a suspension of their license upon repeat violations, and SB 329 would allow cell phone use if a hands free device is used, like in Washington. Here is specific information on the current status of each bill:

HB 2038: Presession filed at the request of the House Interim Committee on Transportation. Referred to House Transportation Committee. Public Hearing scheduled for February 20 at 1P.

HB 2377: Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Tomei and Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford). Referred to House Transportation Committee. Public Hearing scheduled for February 20 at 1P.

HB 2526: Sponsored by Reps. Gelser, Tomei, Bailey, Barker, Barnhart, Buckley, Cannon, Dembrow, C Edwards, Galizio, Greenlick, Nathanson, Read, Riley, Roblan, Schaufler, Stiegler.

SB 319: Sponsored by Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland). Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

SB 329: Sponsored by Sen. Burdick. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Transportation Committee
E. Terry Beyer (D-Springfield), Chair
George Gilman (R-S. and C. Oregon), Vice-Chair
Nick Kahl (D-E. Multnomah Co.), Vice-Chair
Jules Bailey (D-Portland)
Cliff Bentz (R-E. Oregon)
Vicki Berger (R-Salem)
Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach)
David Edwards (D-Hillsboro)
Mike Schaufler (D-SE Portland)
Jim Weidner (R-McMinnville)

Senate Judiciary Committee
Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), Chair
Brian Boquist (R-Dallas), Vice-Chair
Suzanne Bonamici (D-Beaverton)
Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland)
Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls)

Call to Action:

Since HB 2038 and HB 2377 have been scheduled for a hearing, our initial efforts should focus on that legislation and on the House Transportation Committee members.

Amateur radio operators should send an email or letter to the committee members educating them on the important role Hams play in emergencies etc., explain why operating an amateur radio is different than a cell phone, and suggest that the legislation be amended to exempt amateur radio operators licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Letters are more effective, so take the time to write and mail one. Send it to the committee chair with a cc to each committee member. (Addresses below). Also cc your own State Senator and State Representative (see below for a link to how to find your Senator and Representative).

Our correspondence with legislators needs to be laser focused on specific issues. We don’t need to try and argue for or against the legislation’s impact on cell phone usage, for example. Leave that fight to someone else. Our goal is specifically to get amateur radio exempted from this piece of legislation and our energies should be focused there.

ARRL has adopted a policy statement on the issue which has additional background information as well as suggested language for an amendment. You can read it here:

http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/02/03/10609/?nc=1

Make your letters brief, concise and polite. Remember, you know far more than they do about amateur radio so take the opportunity to educate them in a kind manner about our hobby and why it should not be lumped in with using a cell phone while driving.

Specific points in your letter should include:

Info on the legislation specifically:

- Operating an amateur radio transceiver is different than a cell phone, for one it doesn’t require holding a device to your ear;
- The definition of “mobile communication device” is too broad. The goal is to limit cell phone usage, but many other uses get lumped in with this broad definition. The bill should be amended to exempt amateur radio operators;
- Other states, including New York and Connecticut, have exempted amateur radio operators from similar laws.
- Ask them to support amending the bill to not apply to amateur radio operators licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. Specifically, ask them to support amending the bill to include this kind of language:

Amend Definition
“Mobile Communications/Electronic Device” as used herein means hand held or portable electronic equipment capable of providing full duplex, wireless voice or data communications via the public switched telephone network between two or more people. Also included are devices for text messaging or paging, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, equipment capable of playing video games or video disks, or equipment on which digital photographs are taken or displayed.

Amend Exclusions
A mobile (electronic/communication) device does not include audio equipment or any equipment installed in the vehicle to provide navigation or emergency information to the driver, or video entertainment exclusively to passengers in the back seat. Nor does it include two-way mobile radio transmitters or receivers used by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service.

Info on amateur radio generally:

- Amateur radio operators are licensed by the Federal Communication Commission;
- A written test on amateur radio regulations and technology is required to receive your license;
- Amateur radio operators play an important role in communication during emergencies, natural disasters, and large public events like parades and sporting events (e.g. Cycle Oregon);
- Oregon DMV issues special “call sign” license plates to amateur radio licensees.

Committee Addresses:

Rep. Elizabeth Beyer
900 Court St. NE, H-277
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. George Gilman, Vice-Chair
900 Court St. NE, H-493
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Nick Kahl, Vice Chair
900 Court St. NE, H-378
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Jules Bailey
900 Court St. NE, H-488
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Cliff Bentz
900 Court St. NE, H-475
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Vicki Berger
900 Court St. NE, H-479
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Deborah Boone
900 Court St. NE, H-375
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. David Edwards
900 Court St. NE, H-384
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Mike Schaufler
900 Court St. NE, H-382
Salem, OR 97301

Rep. Jim Weidner
900 Court St. NE, H-387
Salem, OR 97301

Find your Legislator: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

Contact your Legislator: http://www.leg.state.or.us/writelegsltr/

ARRL-Oregon Section leadership will approach the House Transportation Committee members about amending the legislation by adding the following definitions and exemptions described above.


Addition Information on the Legislative Process:

An idea for a new law is submitted to Legislative Counsel by legislators or committees. Legislative Counsel is the legal office for the Legislature, essentially their lawyers, who are tasked with taking an idea for a new law and drafting it into a bill. The draft version is called a Legislative Concept or LC and can be refined before it is introduced or “dropped.” If the person who requested the legislation approves of the draft, they introduce it and it receives a bill number. Bills with an “HB” before them are House Bills, those with an “SB” are a Senate Bill.

Because the attorneys in Legislative Counsel are working off of ideas or concepts, the initial draft of the legislation is imperfect. The attorneys in Legislative Counsel, while proficient in the law and Oregon Revised Statutes, don’t know every little nuance about every single issue. Much of the legislative process is spent refining the bill via amendments to remove unintended consequences or fix other problems with a bill.

Once a bill is introduced it is referred to the desk of the House Speaker (House Bills) or Senate President (Senate Bills), the respective leaders of each chamber. These two legislators decide what committee to refer the bill to. Once it is assigned, it becomes the decision of the committee chairperson whether or not the bill receives a hearing. There is no obligation for a committee chair to hold a hearing on every single bill assigned to a committee.

This is one of the first opportunities to influence the life of a bill. (The process of the Speaker or Senate President assigning a bill is another, if you can convince them, for example, to “bury” a bad bill in a committee where you know the chair will not hold a hearing on it. Since these bills are already assigned to a committee, this option is not available to us.) Since there is limited time, the chairperson is going to hold hearings on the legislation most important to them (and the majority caucus.) So, a bill must be of some priority to the chairperson to begin its life. Convincing the chairperson that the legislation is ill conceived and thus doesn’t deserve a hearing is the first chance to stop it.

If the chairperson decides to hold a hearing, the second opportunity to influence arises. Presenting testimony and suggesting amendments is done during the hearing process. (The process can actually begin before the hearing if you know for sure the bill will be getting a hearing by working with committee members and the chairperson on suggested amendments.)

This is another point at which the bill can die as well. Just because it receives a hearing doesn’t mean it will have a “work session.” After the hearing, the chair may decide not to schedule a work session on the bill. A work session is necessary to amend the bill and pass it out of committee. If a work session is held, this is when amendments can be offered by committee members and approved or killed by committee members. Usually, a work session is only held if the committee chair believes he/she has the votes to move the bill out of committee and to the floor of the chamber.

Once voted out of committee, the bill has a “second reading” in the chamber. At the “third reading”, a vote is held on the floor to pass or not pass the bill. This is a chance, once again, to influence the fate of the bill.

If it passes out of the chamber, it goes to the other chamber and the process starts all over again. If it navigates through both chambers (and the second chamber does not amend the bill) it goes to the governor’s desk for a signature or a veto. If the second chamber has amended the bill, it must first go to a conference committee composed of members from both chambers to iron out the differences. If they agree on one version, it goes back to each chamber for their approval before going to the governor.

As one can see, there are numerous opportunities to influence the fate of legislation.
Posted by Bonnie Altus on Friday 13 February 2009 - 19:24:31 | Comments are turned off for this item | email to someone printer friendly
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Oregon Cabinet
Section Manager
Everett Curry, W6ABM
Hillsboro, Oregon
w6abm@arrl.org

Assistant Section Managers

Southwestern Oregon
Dan Bissell, W7WVF
Bandon, Oregon
dbissell@harborside.com

Youth and Mentoring
Russ Mickiewicz, N7QR
Portland, Oregon
n7qr@arrl.net

Administrative
Pat Roberson, W7PAT
Aloha, Oregon
w7pat@arrl.net

Affiliated Club Coordinator
Dan Bathurst, WA7ABU
Salem, Oregon
wa7abu@arrl.net

Official Observer Coordinator
Everett W Curry Jr, W6ABM
Hillsboro, Oregon
w6abm@arrl.net

Section Emergency Coordinator
Vince VanDerHyde, K7VV
Salem, Oregon
k7vv@arrl.net

State Government Liaison
Kevin E Curry, KA7KYQ
Tigard, Oregon
curry.k@gmail.com

Section Traffic Manager
D Scott Gray, W7IZ
Clatskanie, Oregon
w7iz@clatskanie.com

Technical Coordinator
Ron Fial, KO7V
Oak Grove, Oregon
ko7v@arrl.net
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