It's Official: Illinois Legislates ‘First Informer' Status

Broadcast and cable operators will get expedited access to fuel in emergencies; second state after Nevada to pass law
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A new Illinois law ensures that broadcasters and cable operators have the emergency credentials in times of
disaster to get fuel to power their facilities.

The
First Informer Broadcasters Act has been signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn,
according to Dennis Lyle, president of the Illinois Broadcasters Association.

It
passed 114 to 0 in the house last spring, followed by a 50-0 vote in the State
Senate this month. "This legislation assures our broadcasters can keep
generators fueled, and stations operational, in times of disasters, allowing
them to do what they best; keeping the public informed," Lyle said in a
statement.

"I
believe Illinois becomes only the
second state -- Nevada was first -- in the
country with legislation on the books ensuring emergency credentials for our
broadcasters and cable operators in times of disasters and emergencies,"
Lyle told B&C.

At
the federal level, the FCC also makes an effort to speed fuel deliveries to
generators in times of emergency to keep communications facilities up and
running.

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