A press release from Jason E. Kern, RPL, ENP, Executive Director of the Southeast Emergency Communications (SEECOM):
IL APCO, INENA Call for Governor Rauner’s Approval on Crucial 9-1-1 Funding for Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (June 4, 2017) – The Illinois Chapter of the International Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (IL APCO), in conjunction with the Illinois Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (INENA), have announced a formal request for Governor Rauner’s approval of SB1839, a proposed surcharge increase for 9-1-1 calls that allows for crucial upgrades to outdated, flawed and ineffective technology in 9-1-1 centers statewide.
Last week, Illinois House and Senate legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of SB1839, a proposed surcharge increase from the current $0.87 cents to $1.50 a line for each device that dials 9-1-1 in Illinois, not including Chicago. The Chicago City Council could increase the current surcharge for Chicago residents from $3.90 to $5.00.
The proposed increase also addresses the rising cost of salaries, technology and resources required to effectively deliver 9-1-1 services across Illinois.
“On behalf of IL APCO and INENA, which share a commitment to raising awareness of the need for 9-1-1 education in communities across Illinois, we greatly appreciate the bipartisan support from both the Illinois House and Senate for SB1839,” said Brent Reynolds, president of IL APCO.
“The goal of this legislation is to develop a fully-functional 9-1-1 system that meets the demands of ever-changing telecommunications technology in a digital world, while being accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device in Illinois. Providing 9-1-1 services for all members of our community simply cannot be done by keeping old, costly and failing technology in place.”
“We urge Governor Rauner to continue his support of 9-1-1 by signing SB1839,” said Sandy Beitel, president of INENA. “The governor’s signature will properly fund 9-1-1 in our state andimprove technology should any Illinoisan ever have the need to make that emergency call to 9-1-1.”
Without Governor Rauner’s signature on SB1839, Reynolds said Illinois will not receive any 9-1-1 funding after current legislation expires at the end of June.
“There is a likelihood that on July 1, 2017, none of our communities in Illinois will receive the 9-1-1 surcharge, in which case, each community would need to consider potential property tax increases or other drastic measures to support vital 9-1-1 services,” Reynolds said. “Lacking sufficient funding, some 9-1-1 systems in Illinois will fail. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”
The Illinois Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (INENA) is comprised of public safety professionals throughout Illinois whose mission is to foster the technological advancement, availability, and implementation of the universal emergency number 9-1-1 in the State of Illinois.
About IL APCO
Founded in 1941, the Illinois Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) is a state-wide leader committed to providing complete public safety communications expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach to benefit our members and the public.