Cell phone 9-1-1 bill stalls in Kansas House

| 4/8/2003

A compromise bill designed to bring full 911 services to cell phone users in Kansas appears to have stalled out for this year in a House Committee.

SB153 passed the Kansas Senate Feb. 28 by a vote of 26-12. The bill was assigned to the House Utilities Committee March 5, and has remained there since. It could be raised during the “veto session” that begins April 30. However, a legislative spokesman said the bill would more likely remain in the committee until the next legislative session begins in January 2004. If it is voted on then, it would not have to return to the Senate and could be approved.

The bill was a compromise crafted by state Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe. The bill would set up a 75-cent fee on every cell phone bill in Kansas. According to a report from The Kansas City Star, 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.