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First Informer Broadcasters Act Ready to be Signed

Illinois bill passes in state senate, 50-0

A bill ensuring that Illinois broadcasters and cable operators have the emergency credentials necessary to gain access to their operations, including allowing the delivery of fuel to power their emergency generators during disasters, has unanimously passed both Illinois houses of the Illinois legislature and is now headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s office for signing.

The bill, HB5528, was sponsored by Rep. John Bradley in the Illinois House and subsequently Sens. Antonio Munoz and Kirk Dillard in the Senate.

“This legislation recognizes the important role local broadcasters serve in times of emergencies and disasters and ensures that key personnel needed to keep stations operational during times of emergencies will have access to their facilities, and that fuel needed to power emergency generators will be allowed to be delivered, allowing us to do what we do best during emergency situations,” said Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

Lyle credited law enforcement officials as well as the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for supporting the passage of the bill. Also crucial was a lack of objections from the City of Chicago, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association or the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

The IBA will now work with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to design a training curriculum that personnel must complete before earning emergency credentials.