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Ky. General Assembly Backs Additional 9-1-1 Funding

Adisak Banpot
, 123rf Stock Photo

The Kentucky General Assembly has taken action to help localities across the Commonwealth maintain emergency 9-1-1 services.  It comes with increased costs for some cell phone users.

9-1-1 emergency services have traditionally been supported through an assessment on phone bills.  But, the rapid decline in landline phones has caused big drops in these local funds.

The approved legislation sets in place a monthly 93 cent fee for pre-paid cell service. 

Kentucky League of Cities Deputy Executive Director J.D. Chaney says it’s 23 cents higher than post-paid bills. 

“If you want the users to pay the same, when you’re dealing with 12 transactions a month on post-paid, regular contract versus nine on pre-paid users, you had to have a little higher rate,” said Chaney.

The legislation is expected to send about eight to ten million dollars to city and county governments.  

Shellie Hampton with the Kentucky Association of Counties says currently $32 million out of localities’ general funds go to support emergency 9-1-1 services. 

Hampton says new technologies come with more costs. 

“We’re gonna have to go to next generation," said Hampton. "Our kids are texting all the time and we’re gonna have to be able to accept a text message as an E-9-1-1 call and that is not possible right now in Kentucky.

"We’re not ready to do that at the PSAP level and we need to be able to do that among other technologies that haven’t even been invented yet,” Hampton explained.

The legislation has passed both the House and Senate and has been sent on to the governor.?

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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