State legislatures passed a variety of measures in 2013 to support and improve the operations of public emergency communication services for today's digital mobile society.
In 2013, at least five states (Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming) enacted legislation related to criminal penalties for abuse of the 9-1-1 call system and making false reports. Legislation in Minnesota created a new felony for reporting fictitious emergencies resulting in serious injury, while North Carolina increased the penalty for misusing the 9-1-1 system to a Class 1 misdemeanor.
At least five states (Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington) enacted legislation that provided immunity for persons who report in good faith to 9-1-1 an emergency drug or alcohol overdose.
The legislation listed below includes key 2013 enactments, excluding appropriations. See the National Conference of State Legislatures 9-1-1 Legislation Database for a more complete list of 2013 introduced and enacted 9-1-1 legislation.
AL H 92
Provides for the creation of the Alabama First Responder Wireless Commission for the purpose of ensuring effective communication services for law enforcement, fire and rescue services, and public health and emergency support personnel when responding to emergencies, requires the commission to implement and operate a statewide wireless communications system to be used by emergency first responders, creates the First Responder Wireless Commission Fund.
AR S 500
Assists the administration and collection of 9-1-1 emergency phone system charges, regulates contributions from prepaid wireless phone users, provides that a seller shall collect from the consumer a prepaid wireless E9-1-1 charge of 65 cents.
AR S 797
Ensures continued broadband expansion in rural areas within the state, provides 9-1-1 emergency service to rural areas within the state, enhances the 9-1-1 emergency system and assists its funding, defines Interconnected VoIP service, provides for the implementation of a specified plan in certain circumstances, makes changes concerning Arkansas High Cost Fund charge levels, funding categories, intrastate Carrier Common Line charges, universal service, the phase out of the High Cost Fund, and certain rates.
AR S 973
Revises the Arkansas Public Safety Communications Act of 1985, modifies the membership of the Arkansas Emergency Telephone Services Board to include the Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and two consumer members.
AR S 974
Establishes the Blue Ribbon Committee on local 9-1-1 systems to perform a detailed and comprehensive study of local 9-1-1 systems across the State.
CO S 283
Provides immunity from criminal prosecution for underage persons found in possession of marijuana if they contact 9-1-1 and reported in good faith that another underage person is in need of medical assistance due to marijuana consumption.
CT S 1073
Concerns minor and technical changes to public safety statutes, makes minor and technical changes to various statutes concerning emergency services, establishes the Enhanced 9-1-1 Telecommunications Fund.
CT S 1149
Provides a law enforcement agency shall not be required to disclose under the Freedom of Information Act the portion of an audio tape or other recording where the individual speaking on the recording describes the condition of a victim of homicide, except for a recording that consists of an emergency 9-1-1 call or other call for assistance made by a member of the public to a law enforcement agency.
CT H 5441
Authorizes emergency response employees to enroll in the municipal employees' retirement system, creates a public employee health plan, includes regional emergency telecommunications centers.
DE H 96
Relates to public utilities that provide telecommunications services, competitive choices, regulatory assessments, increased rates, the Enhanced Emergency Number Service and the Enhanced 9-1-1 Emergency System Reporting Fund, relates to locations where there is no alternative provider of telephone services, provides that the Commission may not investigate or adjudicate retail customer complaints for services governed by this subchapter except complaints related to the adequate provisioning of basic services.
DE S 116
Provides criminal immunity for persons who suffer or report an alcohol or drug overdose or other life threatening medical emergency, includes medical providers, relates to good faith reporting.
FL S 520
Deletes a requirement that emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and 9-1-1 public safety telecommunicators complete an educational course on HIV and AIDS, revises certification and recertification requirements for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, revises requirements for institutions that conduct approved programs for the education of emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
GA H 575
Changes certain provisions relating to the city of the City of Peachtree Corners' ability to enter into agreements with other governmental parties, provides for the city's inclusion to the Gwinnett County Police Service District, the Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Medical Service District, the Gwinnett County Recreation District, and the Gwinnett County Emergency 9-1-1 System at the conclusion of the city's transition period, clarifies the city's municipal elections through the transition period.
HI S 1001
(Governor Package Bill) Replaces the Comptroller with the Chief Information Officer as a member of the Enhanced 9-1-1 Board.
ID H 80
Repeals the termination date on the enhanced emergency communications grant fee assessed on interconnected VoIP service lines.
ID H 193
Provides that fees shall be deposited into certain funds, provides for the imposition of prepaid wireless E9-1-1 fees, clarifies certain retail transactions treated as occurring in the state, provides that fees shall not be included in the base for measuring certain charges, permits seller retention of a portion of the fees, provides that providers and sellers of prepaid wireless services are immune from certain liability.
IL H 438
Amends the Counties Code, provides that the county board of a county of a specified population may use emergency ambulance service funds to provide 9-1-1 service, but only if the question of using those funds for that purpose has been submitted to the electors of the county not residing within the territory of the fire protection district that levies a tax for ambulance service and if that question is approved by a majority of those electors voting on the question.
IL H 2856
Sets forth findings regarding the ability of 9-1-1 systems to manually transfer, forward, or relay 9-1-1 calls originating within one jurisdiction to another system for answering and dispatch of first responders, requires the Commerce Commission to prepare a certain directory, requires each 9-1-1 system to provide the Manager of the Commission's 9-1-1 Program with a certain emergency telephone number to which calls originating in another jurisdiction can be transferred.
IL H 3207
Amends the Emergency Telephone System Act, provides that certain members of the Emergency Telephone System Board shall serve staggered terms, provides guidelines regarding staggering the terms of currently serving board members, provides that board members may be re-appointed upon the expiration of their terms, allows Board member removal for misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office.
IA H 417
Makes nonsubstantive code changes to numerous provisions, including provisions concerning the education telecommunications council, housing finance, E9-1-1 surcharges, absentee ballots, liquor control licenses, dispensing of drugs, unauthorized insurers, modification of mortality tables and other life insurance matters, rental agreement requirements and the maintenance of liability insurance, and retirement plans and certain exemptions from taxation.
IA H 575
Relates to the technical administration of state financial and regulatory matters, includes administration of income taxes regarding state issued bonds, sales and use taxes, currency exchange licenses, the collection and enforcement of wireless surcharge for enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone systems.
IA H 644
Modifies provisions applicable to the administration and funding of enhanced E9-1-1 emergency communication systems, eliminates existing voter referendum requirements regarding imposition of the local wire-line E9-1-1 service surcharge and the alternative surcharge applicable to wire-line communications, replaces current provisions authorizing imposition of a specified wire-line E9-1-1 service surcharge.
KS S 81
Requires the restriction of certain officials' information from publicly accessible records, relates to requests for criminal justice information or personal identifying information. Includes an exemption for information provided by providers to the local collection point administrator or to the 9-1-1 coordinating council pursuant to the Kansas 9-1-1 act.
ME S 152
Transfers the powers and duties of the Department of Public Safety, state Communications System Policy Board to the Bureau of Consolidated Emergency Communications within that department.
ME H 877
Expands the scope of 9-1-1 services to include emerging communications technologies, changes the 9-1-1 surcharge remittance period to quarterly for local exchange telephone utilities, cellular or wireless telecommunications service providers and interconnected voice over internet protocol service providers and is capable of connecting users to public safety answering points, excepts a utility whose average monthly surcharge remittance payment for the prior calendar year is less than a specified amount.
MD S 745
Establishes that the surcharge on wireless telecommunication services applies to prepaid service, relates to commercial mobile radio service, allows for the collection of the fee for the purpose of contributing to the 9-1-1 Trust Fund, authorizes certain percentages of the money collected from the fee to be used for certain purposes, providing that the fee shall be collected for certain transactions.
MI H 4671
Deletes provisions regarding the collection of the 9-1-1 service charge, revises distribution of service charge fees for 9-1-1, provides a specified amount of such fees shall be distributed annually for the administration of the Emergency 9-1-1 Service Enabling Act.
MN H 669
Expands and updates the authority of the Statewide Radio Board to include the latest emergency communication technologies, authorizes the Board to elect to become a statewide emergency communication board, includes tribal governments in regional radio board structure, provides comprehensive authority under board to address all emergency communications, provides for rulemaking.
MN H 814
Requires reporting of a hazardous substance release to the local 9-1-1 emergency dispatch center.
MN H 946
Relates to public safety, provides immunity for underage possession or consumption of alcohol for a person seeking assistance from 9-1-1 for self or another, provides prosecution immunity to person who reports the incident, provides prosecution immunity to person who receives medical assistance.
MN S 1168
Creates new felony for reporting fictitious emergency to 9-1-1 resulting in serious injury and gross misdemeanor offense for placing an emergency call and reporting a fictitious emergency with the intent
of prompting an emergency response by law enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services personnel.
MT H 575
Revises 9-1-1 laws, revises definition, requires that fees collected for wireless enhanced 9-1-1 services be reallocated to the wireless 9-1-1 jurisdictions and wireless providers under certain circumstances.
NE L 595
Relates to the Enhanced Wireless 9-1-1 Services Act, provides for a study of next generation 9-1-1, provides for the use of the Enhanced Wireless 9-1-1 Fund, requires the Public Service Commission to use the fund to conduct a study to examine issues surrounding the statewide implementation of next generation 9-1-1 and to contract with an independent third party to assist with the study.
NJ S 2082
Creates The Opioid Antidote and Overdose Prevention Act, provides that a person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug overdose shall not be arrested, charged, prosecuted, or convicted for obtaining, possessing, using, being under the influence of, or failing to make lawful disposition of, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance. “Medical assistance” includes professional medical services that are mobilized through telephone contact with the 9-1-1 telephone emergency service.
NC H 345
Increases the criminal penalty for misuse of the 9-1-1 system, provides that the police chief appointed to the 9-1-1 board shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the North Carolina association of chiefs of police.
ND H 1202
Relates to use of wide area network services, provides that for purposes of enhanced 9-1-1 and next generation 9-1-1 communications services, governmental entities are exempt from department service requirements, provides that in selecting enhanced 9-1-1 and next generation 9-1-1 communication network providers, governmental entities shall select providers that are cost-effective, demonstrably reliable and which follow interoperable standards set by the emergency services communications coordinating committee.
ND H 1320
Relates to harassment offenses through electronic communications, includes communication with a 9-1-1 emergency line, public safety answering point, or an emergency responder communication system with the intent to annoy or harass another person or a public safety agency or who makes a false 9-1-1 report.
ND S 2261
Relates to the creation of a prepaid wireless emergency 9-1-1 fee, imposes a prepaid wireless emergency 9-1-1 fee of two percent on the gross receipts of sellers from all sales at retail of prepaid wireless services in this state, provides that the prepaid wireless emergency 9-1-1 fee is the liability of the consumer and not of the seller or any provider.
ND S 2353
Creates new sections to chapter 37-17.3 of the Century Code, relates to statewide integrated radio communication for law enforcement and emergency response, provides for a legislative management study of new digital networks in neighboring states, provides an appropriation.
OR S 598
Establishes requirements for 9-1-1 calls placed from multiline telephone systems, relates to automatic location identification, call-back numbers and designated public safety answering points.
OR H 3317
Relates to emergency communications taxes, provides that such taxes imposed under existing law apply to subscriber bills issued on or after and before specified dates.
OR H 3453
Relates to public safety fiscal emergencies, provides that the Governor may proclaim a public safety fiscal emergency, allows for intergovernmental agreements to provide services, allows an income tax assessment on county residents, a business net income tax on financial, investment and insurance corporations, a county excise tax and a tax on telecommunications services with access to the 9-1-1 emergency reporting system.
PA H 583
Amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, provides for powers and duties of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and for disbursement of fund amounts by agency.
RI S 284
Creates the Kelsey Smith Act which would require telecommunications carriers to provide call location information of a telecommunication device to the Rhode Island division of public safety's E-9-1-1 unit in order to facilitate requests from a law enforcement agency for call location information in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical injury . Requires the Rhode Island division of public safety's E-9-1-1 unit to maintain a database containing emergency contact information for all wireless telecommunications carriers registered to do business in the state of Rhode Island and make the information immediately available upon request to all public safety answer points in the state.
SD H 1036
Prohibits retention of certain administration costs for untimely 9-1-1 surcharge remittances by the service provider.
TN S 33
Relates to nonemergency use of the 9-1-1 system, relates to contacting 9-1-1 in an offensively repetitious manners, causing delays in a response to an emergency.
TN H 76
Allows a representative of the sheriff and county mayor to serve on the governing body of an emergency communications district instead of the present requirement that the sheriff and county mayor serve on the governing body.
TN S 333
Relates to the emergency communications board, provides for membership.
TX S 628
Relates to the creation of regional emergency communications districts, authorizes the issuance of bonds, authorizes an emergency services fee.
TX H 1972
Provides criminal penalties for violations, provides protection relating to confidentiality and immunity and protection from liability with at least the same scope and to at least the same extent as described by federal law, concerns requirements relating to voice over internet protocol, internet protocol enabled service, and commercial mobile service.
VA S 839
Relates to local boundaries for law-enforcement purposes, provides that localities may designate mutually agreed-upon boundary lines between contiguous localities to organize 9-1-1 dispatch and response, determining territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases, and clarifying issues related to coverage under workers' compensation and risk management laws.
VA S 1264
Reorganizes the Freedom of Information Act relating to access to criminal records and noncriminal records held by law-enforcement agencies, relates to release of information that is likely to jeopardize an ongoing investigation, prosecution or safety of an individual, cause a suspect to flee or result in the destruction of evidence, provides that such information may be withheld until the referenced damage is no longer likely to occur, relates to victims, undercover officers and investigative techniques.
VA H 2216
Provides that localities may designate mutually agreed-upon boundary lines between contiguous localities for purposes of organizing 9-1-1 dispatch and response, determining territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases, and clarifying issues related to coverage under workers' compensation and risk management laws.
VA H 2280
Relates to Virginia Freedom of Information Act, relates to exempt records, relates to disaster preparedness plans, relates to records of hospitals and nursing homes regulated by the Board of Health, to the extent such records reveal the disaster recovery plans or the evacuation plans for such facilities in the event of fire, explosion, natural disaster, or other catastrophic event.
WA H 1404
Prohibits a person under the age of 21 years from being charged or prosecuted for being a minor in possession of alcohol when in need of medical assistance as a result of alcohol poisoning or when, acting in good faith, seeking medical assistance for someone else experiencing alcohol poisoning.
WA H 1971
Provides for the imposition of state and county enhanced 9-1-1 excise taxes on sellers of prepaid wireless telecommunications services, provides for the collection of such taxes, includes fixed interconnected voice over internet protocol services in the definition of local service, relates to the funding of the telephone assistance program, telecommunications relate service excise taxes and a universal communications services program.
WY H 18
Provides that the Public Service Commission shall not regulate Internet Protocol (IP) enabled service or Voice over Internet Protocol service, but VoIP service is subject to required assessments, including any required assessment of 9-1-1 or E9-1-1 emergency service taxes under W.S. 16-9-101 through 16-9-10.
WY H 92
Specifies the inclusion of 9-1-1 emergency reporting systems in false reporting offenses, provides that a person commits a misdemeanor if he knowingly calls a 9-1-1 emergency reporting system for a purpose other than to report a situation that he reasonably believes requires prompt service in order to preserve or protect human life or health or property.
Compiled by Cassandra Kirsch, NCSL Law Intern.