SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored in the Senate by State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) that gives financial assistance to 911 services in small, rural counties was recently signed by the governor. The Illinois Commerce Commission forecasts that this measure would give the emergency phone system in every county with fewer than 100,000 people on average an extra $24,000 per year.
House Bill 2453 directs more money to emergency phone services without raising the existing monthly 73 cent fee on cell phones in downstate counties.
"911 call centers in rural counties face daunting financial challenges as they provide emergency call services in geographically large counties that are not densely populated. This legislation gives them additional resources without raising wireless rates for their customers," Sullivan said.
The new law redirects a portion of the current 73 cent fee on cell phones away from the wireless carriers and to 911 systems. An additional 2 cents goes to counties with less than 100,000 people which includes all 11 counties in Sullivan's district.