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home : most recent : telecommunications September 15, 2014

2/14/2012 7:17:00 PM
Indiana Legislature considering higher 911 fees

Dan Carden, Times of Northwest Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS | The General Assembly is continuing to work on legislation that would result in most Northwest Indiana telephone users paying a higher monthly fee for 911 service.

Wireless telephone users pay 50 cents per month for 911 service. Counties set land line 911 rates, which vary from 39 cents to $3 per month.

Senate Bill 345 would repeal those charges and impose a uniform $1 monthly fee on all telephone customers.

State Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Wheatfield, said the higher fee will ensure "robust" 911 funding as Hoosiers increasingly drop home phone service for wireless phones.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday reviewed Hershman's proposal but did not vote on it. Possible amendments and a vote are expected by the end of the month.

The committee chairman, state Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, said he favors the 75-cent monthly fee proposed in House Bill 1087, which is pending before the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy, chaired by Hershman.

Both proposals establish a statewide 911 board that would control distribution of 911 fees.

Counties would be limited to a single 911 answering center under Senate Bill 345. House Bill 1087 limits counties to two 911 answering centers.

Related Stories:
• Bills to increase 911 fees could take control from county governments

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