Total posts : 45366
Before we lose our composure over a “bill” before a state assembly, let’s get a grip. There is a bigger issue at hand here than who can and cannot transmit legally. It deals with a non-radio issue called “states rights”. The limit of the rights of states to not pre-empt federal rules, regulations and laws is clearly laid out, not only in the U.S. Constitution, but also in nearly two hundred years of case law.
The state of New Jersey is making the penalty more punitive in their state than surrounding states. “The bill further provides that a violator of the bill’s requirements would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, and thus subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of up to 18 months”. Instead of the possible $10,000 fine from the feds, the state now could add another $10,000 fine and jail time to the equation. Where would that leave the FCC in its ability to collect its fine based on the violators ability to pay (refer to recent decisions by the FCC regarding payment of fines).
However, as other jurisdictions have discovered on their own, prosecuting a case is much more difficult than making law. Plus, the local or state attorneys general have to be willing to expend their limited resources to prosecute the case. And most assuredly that would be after the successful prosecution by the FCC.
An example; a signal is transmitted from just across the border from a licensed Florida or New Jersey public service or commercial broadcast station; can they arrest and prosecute the offender in another state? Logic and experience should tell most of us with a miniscule grain of brains what the answer is.
State Assemblies can make laws that are expressly unenforceable and a waste of the people’s money and resources. It would appear the process continues.
Marshall Johnson, Sr.
Rhema Radio – The Word In Worship
Amateur Extra Class – KK7CW
former ARRL Section Manager