Title 18

Chapter 4.1
The Public Radio Conversions Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 18-4.1-2

§ 18-4.1-2. Findings.

The general assembly finds and declares that:

(1) Public radio stations in Rhode Island contribute uniquely and substantially to the cultural, educational and journalistic quality of life in Rhode Island;

(2) Rhode Island’s existing public radio stations have been built and maintained through the charitable contributions of thousands of Rhode Island individuals, foundations and businesses who expected that their contributions would be used to maintain and improve public radio stations in Rhode Island;

(3) Consolidation in commercial radio and other media has reduced the number of Rhode Island owned and operated cultural, educational and news organizations;

(4) Rhode Island public radio stations are under particular challenge because the lawful but dominant signal strength and broadcasting priority of television’s broadcast channel six limits the signal strength of virtually all noncommercial radio licenses in Rhode Island, thereby limiting the technical ability of Rhode Island public radio stations to serve the entire state through a single noncommercial radio license;

(5) Public radio stations that do not operate on frequencies reserved for noncommercial broadcasting may easily be sold to for-profit entities that do maintain public radio programs;

(6) Donations to Rhode Island charities are given with the intent that each charity will use the donations to support the charity’s mission as long as the charity and mission are viable; and

(7) In order to protect public welfare and public and charitable assets, and ensure that Rhode Islanders’ gifts to Rhode Island public radio stations are used for their intended purposes, it is necessary to establish standards and procedures that result in recoupment of public investment through the assessment of a conversion fee to create the financial infrastructure to replicate public radio programming that may be lost in the sale of a public station to a commercial operator.

History of Section.
P.L. 2005, ch. 211, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 369, § 1.