Kansas Senate answers the call for e9-1-1 cell phone fee

| 3/4/2003

SB153, a compromise bill designed to bring full 9-1-1 services to cell phone users in Kansas, passed the Kansas Senate Feb. 28 by a vote of 26-12.

According to a report in The Kansas City Star Feb. 25, the bill was a result of a compromise craft by state Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe. It was one of two bills dealing with e9-1-1, an enhanced version of 9-1-1 service that allows operators to locate emergency callers who use cell phones. A spokeswoman at the Senate Commerce Committee, which Brownlee chairs, said last week that elements of one of the bills, SB180, would be combined into SB153.

The bill would set up a 75-cent fee on every cell phone bill in Kansas. According to The Star’s report, of the total fee, 25 cents would go to cities to set up e9-1-1 equipment; the second 25 cents would go to cell phone companies to set up the equipment on their end to send the 9-1-1 signal to emergency operators; the last 25 cents would be put in a fund for rural counties that cannot afford to set up the system.

The bill now moves on to the House for consideration. If it is signed by the governor, it will become effective July 1.