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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: October 30, 2023 12:02 PM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution for continued free broadcasting of AM Radio
As you may know, several trends in the automobile industry are changing the landscape for new-car buyers.  Manufacturers are installing services or technologies in vehicles that require participation in a subscription service to activate the feature.  Other instances find the elimination of features that consumers have considered standard in new vehicles.
One such example is the removal of AM broadcast radio.  Several leading carmakers have indicated the elimination altogether of this popular and essential mode of communication in future vehicles.
Nationwide, and in Pennsylvania, AM radio remains a valuable feature in vehicles.  Make or model, rural or urban, it is enjoyed by people from all walks of life.  Farmers and agricultural businesses rely daily on information about weather, markets, ag news, and local events.  Suburban and urban audiences rely on the same medium for news, weather, sports, and a variety of in-language programming.  And across all audiences, AM radio remains a critical way for federal, state, and local officials to communicate during natural disasters and emergencies.
Almost 4,500 licensed AM stations across the nation serve 80 million listeners.  AM radio signals can travel through solid objects like mountains and buildings and travel farther than any other signal.  It remains popular and is such a standard feature in vehicles that many consumers would be shocked if it were to disappear.
For these reasons, I believe it is in the public’s interest for AM radio to remain in vehicles and for it to continue without a separate fee or payment.  Thus, I am proposing a Resolution calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a rule requiring automakers to maintain free, AM broadcast radio in their vehicles. 
I invite you to join this effort to preserve a popular and essential communication mode.  Thank you.  

Introduced as SR223