Ashton Marra Published

Senate Set to Vote on Drone Bill


Senators will vote on a bill Wednesday that regulates the use of drones in the state. The bill has been years in the making, according to its lead sponsor.

Senate Bill 9 sets a number of guidelines for both the personal and professional use of drones, or unmanned aircraft. 

Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Trump said Tuesday his chamber has actually been working on the legislation for several years, but last summer, the Federal Aviation Administration released its guidelines about drone usage.

“But there’s a good bit that the federal aviation administration left to the states basically unregulated for the states to craft their own rules and that’s what this bill endeavors to do,” he said.

Among its many provisions, Senate Bill 9 lays out rules for the use of drones on personal property and sets penalties for publishing images taken with a drone without permission of the subject.

It defines how news organizations can use the aircraft and says law enforcement must have a warrant to take pictures or video with a drone, unless it’s for public safety or search and rescue purposes.

With so many groups interested in the bill, Trump said it became a much more complex piece of legislation than anticipated.