2015 Key Enacted 9-1-1 Legislation

2/22/2016

A number of measures were passed by state legislatures in 2015 to support and improve the operations of public emergency communication services for today's digital mobile society. 

At least three states—Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—passed legislation related to next-generation 911, allowing users to send text, video and picture messages in addition to making phone calls to 911. Illinois’ legislation requires the implementation of NG911 in every 911 system in the state by July 1, 2020.

Maryland and Texas both enacted legislation requiring that multiple-line telephone systems allow a user to directly dial 911 without having to dial any other number first. As has been the case for the last couple of years, a number of states enacted legislation related to providing immunity for individuals who report drug and alcohol overdoses. Arkansas, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia are among the states that enacted legislation in this area. Visit NCSL's webpage on drug overdose immunity and good samaritan laws for more information on this topic.

The legislation listed below includes key 2015 enactments, excluding appropriations. See NCSL's 911 Legislation Database for a more complete list of 2015 introduced and enacted 911 legislation. 

phone dialing 911

Alabama

H 621
Provides for the appointment and operation of the City of Dothan/Houston County Enhanced 911 Board.

Arizona

H 2205
Specifies that a person, service provider or equipment provider, including a provider of emergency communications or services for ambulances, police and fire departments or other public safety entities, is not liable for damages in any civil action for injuries, death or loss incurred as a result of an act or omission in the provision of an emergency service, except in the cases of wanton or willful misconduct. Clarifies that this includes a public safety radio communications network. 

Arkansas

S 543
Creates the Joshua Ashley Pauley Act. Specifies that a person shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance if the evidence resulted solely from seeking medical assistance if a person seeks such assistance for another person who is experiencing a drug overdose or is seeking medical assistance for him- or herself. Also specifies that no person shall be subject to penalties or violation conditions if such actions are related to seeking medical assistance.

S 977
Defines secondary public safety answering point as the location at which 911 calls are transferred from a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Expands what must be reported from cities and counties operating PSAPs to the Arkansas Emergency Telephone Services Board, including any information requested regarding operations, facilities, equipment, call volume and training. Specifies that, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, quarterly disbursements shall not be given to PSAPs until at least half of dispatchers have completed training and continuing education.

H 1127
Extends the legislative Blue Ribbon Committee on local 911 systems. Modifies the Committee's membership to add the State Geographic Information Officer and an emergency responder.

California

A 57
Provides that a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility is deemed approved if the application is not approved or disapproved within the reasonable time periods specified in application decisions of the Federal Communications Commission, all required public notices have been provided regarding the application, and the applicant has provided a notice to the city or county that the reasonable time period has lapsed.

S 84
Exempts certain sellers from collecting the prepaid mobile telephony service surcharge and other local charges. Specifies how funds can be allocated.

Georgia

H 650
Creates a public safety access assessment for the city of Atlanta to provide revenue for the operation of the city’s 911 section.

Hawaii

H 894
Provides the enhanced 911 board with authority to hire employees. 

S 982
Establishes medical amnesty, or limited immunity, for individuals who seek emergency medical assistance for themselves or others experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency, includes prescription drug abuse.

Illinois

S 96
Creates a single statewide 911 system, including the office of the statewide 911 administrator and the statewide 911 advisory board. Requires collection of fees on the sale of prepaid wireless telecommunications services. Requires the implementation of NG911 in every 911 system in Illinois by July 1, 2020. Requires the development of uniform technical and operational standards for all 911 systems in the state. Specifies that the administrator and board must develop and implement a plan for a statewide NG911 network. Consolidates the number of PSAPs in a county depending on the size of the population. Provides grants to assist in the consolidation process.

H 3988
Provides that a court shall order a person convicted of disorderly conduct to reimburse a public agency for the reasonable costs of an emergency response by the agency if the conviction was for calling the number 911 for the purpose of making or transmitting a false alarm or complaint regarding a threat and for reporting information known to be false.

Indiana

H 1475
Provides that a county council adopt a resolution to distribute tax revenue to a Public Safety Answering Point. Increases 911 fee from $0.90 to $1.00. Allows the audit of wireless telecommunications service providers to determine compliance with statewide 911 laws. Requires an annual report from PSAPs to the statewide 911 board regarding dispatch costs and funding and requires the report be forwarded to the general assembly.

Iowa

S 264
Requires a local exchange service provider to furnish to an E911 service provider addresses and telephone number information of subscribers to the director of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to use in the mass notification and emergency messaging system utilizing only the subscriber's information.

Maine

H 149
Adds personally identifying information of third parties to information that is considered confidential in reports and audio recordings of 911 calls. Allows release of audio recordings of E-911 calls to a person accused of a crime or that person's agent or attorney for the purposes of trial.

H 233
Clarifies that the telephone number 911 is the primary number advertised or promoted for emergency response services.

H 856
Allows the Emergency Services Communication Bureau to provide selected public safety answering points with assistance in the voluntary adoption and implementation of standardized dispatch protocols, which includes training and certification consistent with the protocols, necessary software and printed support materials and a continuous quality improvement program that measures compliance with the protocols through ongoing random case review of each police and fire dispatcher.

Maryland

H 1080
Requires that a person that installs or operates a multiple-line telephone system ensures that the system is connected to the public switched telephone network in such a way that an individual dialing 911 is connected to the public safety answering point without requiring the individual to dial any other number or set of numbers.

Nevada

S 459
Enacts the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act. Provides immunity for individuals who seek emergency medical assistance for themselves or others experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency.

New Hampshire

H 270
Permits a witness or victim of a drug overdose to request medical assistance in order to save the life of an overdose victim; protects the witness or victim from arrest, prosecution, and conviction; provides immunity from arrest, prosecution, or conviction for a person who, in good faith and in a timely manner, requests medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug overdose or for themselves if they are experiencing a drug overdose.

H 391
Applies the E911 surcharge to prepaid cellular telephones.

New Jersey

A 4375
Upgrades crime of false public alarm under certain circumstances and establishes reporting requirements concerning crime, provides that a person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if the false alarm involves a report or warning of an impending bombing, hostage situation, or person armed with a deadly weapon, or any other incident that elicits an immediate or heightened response by law enforcement or emergency services, or if the alarm involves a report or warning about critical infrastructure. 

North Carolina

S 154
Relates to the limited immunity from prosecution for a person experiencing a drug- or alcohol-related overdose and a person who seeks medical assistance for the person experiencing an overdose, provides additional requirements and conditions that must be met before the limited immunity is established.

H 352
Requires clear and convincing evidence in any civil action arising from any act or omission by the defendant in the performance of any lawful and prescribed actions pertaining to the defendant's assigned job duties as a 911 or public safety telecommunicator or dispatcher at a primary public safety answering point.

H 512
Allows time extensions for implementation of back up Public Safety Answering Point requirements. Defines uniform standards for back up PSAPs. Develops a master purchasing list for 911 system eligible expenses. Prohibits the double taxation by a county of city residents for 911 dispatch services that are funded by county ad valorem taxes.

H 730
Creates a next generation 911 reserve fund to implement next generation 911. Requires primary public safety answering points (PSAPS) to implement next generation 911. Authorizes the 911 board to establish purchasing agreements for statewide procurement. Allows the PSAP grant account to be used for expenses used to enhance 911 service. Amends the limitation of liability for the 911 system.

North Dakota

H 1107
Allows provision of primary public safety answering point services to certain political subdivisions.

H 1385
Provides that voice over internet protocol service is subject to certain surcharges, assessments under any state high-cost universal service fund, and any assessment of 911 or E911 fees.

H 1395
Provides for a legislative management study of an emergency information program. 

S 2070
Establishes that an individual is immune from criminal prosecution if that individual contacted law enforcement or emergency medical services and reported that the individual was or that another individual was in need of emergency medical assistance due to a drug overdose.

Oregon

H 2426
Updates and revises definitions regarding 911 emergency communication systems, provides a major revision of existing provisions of law that provide for the regulation of such systems and public safety answering points in the State, updates provisions regarding the related tax imposed for such service and the expenditures of the tax revenue.

H 2919
Eliminates reporting requirement related to disclosure, at request of law enforcement agency, of call location information of cellular device used to call 911 or believed to be in possession of individual who is believed to be in emergency situation. 

Pennsylvania

H 911
Requires the development of a statewide 911 plan that includes plans for NG911 technology. Establishes a 911 board to advise on matters related to the administration and operation of 911 systems, including measures to promote NG911 technology, cost-saving measures and training standards for dispatchers.

Tennessee

S 871
Provides good faith immunity from liability when an individual seeks medical help for someone experiencing a drug overdose.

Texas

H 479
Relates to transfer of the regional emergency medical dispatch resource centers program to the Commission on State Emergency Communications and a pilot project to provide next generation 911 telemedicine medical services in rural areas.

S 788
Relates to requiring direct access to 911 service from telephone systems and equivalent Internet Protocol services that connect users to a public safety answering point through a 911 system, including business service users. Provides for an emergency communication district. Provides for instructional stickers on any noncompliant system. Provides for emergency assistance to a business service user. 

S 1108
Allows counties and municipalities making up a 911 region serving less than 1.5 million people to create a regional emergency communication district and impose a service fee.

Utah

S 237
Authorizes the Authority Board to commission a performance audit and study of the State's 911 emergency response system within the public safety communications network to determine the potential cost savings by consolidation of answering points, and creating a system strategic plan. Limits the use of expenditures from the Unified Statewide 911 Emergency Service Account during the study.

H 343
Amends the Communications Authority Act and the Emergency Telephone Service Law to implement a statewide public communications network for 911 emergency services, amends powers of the State Communications Authority, amends the duties of the Board of the Authority, creates the 911 Division within the Authority, creates the Radio Network Division within the authority, creates the Interoperability Division within the authority, creates the Administrative Services Division within the authority.

Vermont

H 117
Requires the elimination of at least one full-time employee position in the E-911 system and the transfer of $300,000 from the Enhanced 911 Fund to the Department of Public Safety PSAPs.

Virginia

S 892/H 1500
Relates to safe reporting of overdoses, establishes an affirmative defense to prosecution of an individual for simple possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, or controlled paraphernalia, and public intoxication, if an individual seeks or obtains emergency medical attention for himself, if he is experiencing an overdose, or for another individual if that individual is experiencing an overdose, by contemporaneously reporting such overdose to emergency response-related personnel. 

Wyoming

H 36
Amends immunity provisions related to emergency 911 providers to include text to 911 service.

H 44
Imposes a tax on prepaid wireless communications access, provides for collection and distribution of the tax, specifies the requirements that apply to the 911 emergency tax on prepaid wireless communication, provides the distribution of revenue collected to the county that imposes and collects the tax, grants rulemaking authority, requires reporting, amends reporting provisions to include a statement of gross receipts and expenditures, provides an appropriation.

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