House Passes Bill to Modernize State’s 911 Law, Lawmakers Say
HARRISBURG – The state House today voted in favor of a bill to update and enhance the Commonwealth’s 911 emergency communications law, said members of the York County Republican House Delegation, including Reps. Seth Grove (R-Dover), Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion), Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg), Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Kate Klunk (R-Hanover) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township). The members issued the following statement:

House Bill 911 modernizes the law by focusing on the implementation of next-generation technology which will allow citizens to contact emergency responders through a variety of new communication methods. The new technology includes texting, calls from video, non-human (e.g. OnStar) calls and calls from non-specific devices, such as an iPad.

“Not all 911 centers are equipped to handle these new communications methods. This will create a standard statewide which will not only increase convenience for people across Pennsylvania, but will also have the potential to save lives, especially in situations where people need to contact emergency responders in a discreet manner.

“The bill does increase the 911 surcharge to allow for the creation of this new technology, along with addressing the growing financial needs of 911 centers across the state, due to the increasing price of communication equipment and personnel costs.

“However, this is the first time since the creation of the law in 1990 that the 911 surcharge would be increased. If this bill is signed into law, that monthly surcharge would be $1.65, representing a difference of just 15 cents from the current maximum allowed by law.

“The surcharge increase would generate $326 million per year for the Commonwealth’s 911 systems, move them into the 21st century and address the funding shortfall for county officials whose only current recourse is to raise property taxes.

“We look forward to Senate consideration of this important legislation.”

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nick Ruffner