Illinois Governor Signs ‘First Informers’ Bill
Enables broadcasters to keep stations operational during emergencies
February 1, 2013
Governor Pat Quinn has signed a bill to make Illinois the second state to designate broadcasters as first responders.
The “First Informer Broadcasters Act,” sponsored by Illinois State Representative John Bradley and Illinois State Senators Antonio Munoz and Kirk Dillard, passed in the Senate in early January with no opposition, just as it did in the state’s House of Representatives in the spring.
“The Governor’s support in signing the bill confirms the spirit of cooperation, mutual respect, and great working relationship that already exists between local broadcasters and Illinois’ Emergency Management and Law Enforcement agencies,” said Dennis Lyle, president and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association.
He explained this legislation ensures broadcast engineers can keep stations and towers as well as give fuel trucks access to generators in times of disasters, even if they must cross police barricades.
Under the new law, radio, TV and cable operators will be given credentials that enable them to cross police barricades in order to allow engineers access to towers and other facilities, as well as enable fuel trucks to reach generator-powered transmitters.
The IBA will now collaborate with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to design a training curriculum for broadcasters to complete.
‘First Informer Concept Spreads’