Following in the footsteps of Illinois, Nevada and Wisconsin, the Alabama House of Representatives has passed HB383, known as the Emergency Response Broadcasters Bill. The bill is currently in committee in the Senate and not yet on the legislative agenda for this session.
Sponsored by Rep. John Merrill(R) and Sen. Slade Blackwell(R), the bill aims to facilitate broadcasters’ ability to act as first informers by providing for training and accreditation of radio and TV broadcasters, as well as cable operators during emergency situations. Training will be provided by the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the state broadcast association
If passed in the Senate, the legislation will also enable broadcasters to have access to areas affected by a disaster or emergency in order to maintain key broadcast facilities.