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Emergency Telephone Service Charges

Concerning the provision of emergency telephone service, and, in connection therewith, establishing the 911 surcharge, and amending the requirements for the emergency telephone charge and the prepaid wireless 911 charge, and making an appropriation.
2020 Regular Session
Local Government
State Government
Bill Summary

The act amends the requirements for the imposition, collection, and uses of the emergency telephone charge imposed by local 911 governing bodies. Current law imposes a statutory cap on the amount of the emergency telephone charge that may be imposed by local governing bodies. The act allows the public utilities commission (commission) to establish the authorized threshold amount for the charge on an annual basis. A local governing body may impose the charge in an amount up to the authorized threshold. If a governing body determines it needs to impose a higher charge to fund 911 operations in its jurisdiction, it must seek the approval of the commission.

The procedures for the collection and remittance of the emergency telephone charge by telecommunication service suppliers are amended. The act provides procedures for local bodies to assess overdue or unpaid remittances, imposes a time limitation for local governing bodies to do so, and creates a process for the service supplier and local governing body to extend that time period. Local governing bodies may audit the collections of service suppliers, and may impose interest and penalties on late remittances.

A new 911 surcharge (surcharge) is established as a collection for local governing bodies. The amount of the surcharge is established each year by the commission based on the needs of the local governing bodies. Service suppliers must collect the surcharge from service users and remit the money to the commission. The commission is required to transmit the money collected to local governing bodies within 60 days, using a formula based on the number of concurrent sessions maintained in the governing bodies' jurisdictions.

The existing "prepaid wireless E911 charge" is renamed the "prepaid wireless 911". Under current law, the amount of the charge is set in statute. The act requires the commission to establish the amount of the charge based on the average amount of the emergency telephone charges imposed by local governing bodies and the amount of the surcharge.

Governing bodies may use the money collected from the 3 charges for costs associated with the lease, purchase, installation, and planning for equipment, facilities, hardware, and software used to receive and dispatch 911 calls, charges of basic emergency service providers, costs related to the provision and operation of emergency telephone service and emergency notification service, membership fees for state or national industry organizations supporting 911, and other costs directly related to the continued operation of the emergency telephone service ad emergency notification service.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details