U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) has expressed her support for the Local Radio Freedom Act.
The Local Radio Freedom Act, or House Concurrent Resolution 20, would establish measures that would exempt broadcast radio stations from being charged for broadcasting music, interviews or other types of sound recordings.
“Our local radio stations deserve to be free and broadcast to Texans,” Granger wrote in a May 30 Twitter post. “Local stations serve as a lifeline for the communities they serve. That is why I signed onto the Supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act.”
According to Radio Ink, the bill has bipartisan support with 77 House members and eight Senators, who support legislation opposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge” for local broadcast stations.
“In some parts of New Mexico – especially rural areas – local radio remains the beating heart for communities to access local and national news, emergency alerts, educational programs and more,” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) said, Radio Ink reported. “I’m proud to help lead this bipartisan effort in the Senate to prevent Congress from imposing new fees or charges on local radio stations and will continue fighting to keep local radio alive.”
Critics from certain music industry groups have expressed disdain toward the bill, claiming that the sponsors behind them are spreading misinformation, Politico reported. They argue that most local radio stations are owned by conglomerates and that the bill would deny artists from earning their rightful compensation when their music is played on broadcast radio.
MusicFIRST, a coalition representing musical artists, the Recording Industry Association of America and other music groups, claims that the bill is just “a clever trick to deny justice for artists and labels seeking to be paid when their music is played on FM/AM radio.”
The primary sponsors of the the Local Radio Freedom Act are Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) and Steve Womack (R-AR-3).
Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY) are co-sponsoring companion legislation in the Senate.