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New legislation addresses 911 fee diversion

Posted at 1:12 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 13:12:05-04

New legislation introduced Thursday in Washington would prevent states from diverting fees collected from consumers on their phone bills.

Western New York congressman Chris Collins introduced the bill. He says the fees are meant to be used to improve 911 emergency communications systems.

The Federal Communications Commission found New York diverts at least 41% of 911 fees collects for other non-public safety related purposes.

"It is completely unacceptable that we have seen states diverting fees meant to make important and necessary improvements to emergency response systems," said Collins. "Diverting these important fees puts lives in danger, especially in rural areas. I thank Congresswoman Eshoo and Congressman Lance for their support of this legislation and their commitment to making sure all communities across the nation can achieve the highest level of safety."  

Collins' bill directs the FCC to determine the appropriate use of funds collected from consumers. Currently, states are able to set their own definition of what is a covered cost for 911 fees.

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