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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 04:33 PM
From: Senator Mike Regan
To: All Senate members
Subject: 911 Law Reauthorization
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation reauthorizing Pennsylvania’s 911 Law, which is set to expire on June 30, 2019.

Act 12 of 2015 reauthorized the law and made significant changes in order to ensure that Pennsylvania is set with Next Generation technology -- so that no matter what communications device (phone – text – etc.) is used to contact 911, each county 911 call center (or public safety answering point) will be able to handle and respond to the call as expeditiously as possible. Act 12 included the following changes:

*A monthly $1.65 fee set on all phones/devices.
*A new distribution formula (83% to county 911 centers or PSAPS, 15% for an Interconnectivity Fund, and 2% for PEMA for Administration).
*A new 911 Advisory Board.
*A consolidation to 67 county 911 centers or public safety answering points.
*An inventory of county 911 equipment/software.
*Biennial performance audits of county 911 centers.

Since 2015, PEMA has implemented the law and utilized the 911 Advisory Board to accomplish a great deal, including standardizing what is considered a “Call;” setting funding priorities; and establishing minimum training and certification requirements for telecommunicators. In 2014, state 911 Funds covered only 65% of county 911 operations. In 2017, 88% of county 911 operations were funded. This law has been working well and as such, only minor updates are planned at this time. My legislation would:

*Extend the law for two years (June 30, 2021).
*Call on the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to review and make recommendations prior to the law’s expiration.
*Add the State Fire Commissioner and the Chairman of the State Geospatial Coordinating Board as voting members of the 911 Advisory Board.
*Add the Ambulance Association of PA and the PA Association of Council of Governments as non-voting members on the 911 Advisory Board.
*Permit PEMA to purchase a system, such as “Smart 911,” where individuals can have their disabilities associated with a phone number, so that when they call 911, the operator will more quickly be able to assess the situation.

If you have any questions, please contact Nate Silcox of my staff at 717-787-8524.

Introduced as SB127