[R31] Bill to expedite repair of communication devices during disasters passes House (1/17/2014)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Start Date: 1/17/2014 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/17/2014

STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) authored legislation concerning broadcasters during emergencies or disasters, which passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Thursday with a 95-0 vote.

House Bill (HB) 1037 allows engineers and other technicians to enter disaster affected areas to make repairs and restore outlets from which people get their news, weather and other critical information.

Currently, engineers and technicians can be fined or arrested if they enter disaster affected areas that have not been cleared by first responders. In some cases, that approval can be delayed and consequently, deprive the affected area of critical broadcast information.

“After the tornado in Marysville, Indiana in 2013, the radio station KDNY was not able to broadcast for more than two days,” Rep. Mahan said. “TV and radio are where most of the public gets their information, and it’s crucial that broadcasters be able to restore those information channels quickly during emergencies or natural disaster.”

HB 1037 will move to the Senate for further discussion and debate. If signed into law, it will go into effect on July 1, 2014.

To find the most up-to-date bill status, visit www.in.gov/legislative.