Report Title:

County Surcharges; E911 and 311 Services

Description:

Authorizes the counties to assess surcharges for enhanced 911 and 311 non-emergency operations.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

950

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to e911 and 311 telephone surcharges.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for the public to request and receive emergency aid. Emergency services are quickly and efficiently obtained through enhanced 911 (E911) emergency services, which have resulted in the saving of lives, reduction in the destruction of property, and quicker apprehension of criminals. The legislature acknowledges that the efficient administration and management of E911 services is a matter of statewide concern and interest.

The legislature finds that the E911 services have been so successful throughout the nation that the E911 system is being inundated with requests for non-emergency services, thus defeating the initial purpose of E911: to shorten the time between the request and delivery of emergency services. The Honolulu police department of the city and county of Honolulu currently handles more than one million calls annually through its E911 emergency telephone number system. Between sixty-five and seventy-five per cent of these calls are non-emergency in nature. The high call volume critically stresses the limited resources of the Honolulu police department E911 emergency telephone number system and results in unacceptable service delays.

The legislature recognizes that the Honolulu police department would like to develop a five-point non-emergency report system to divert non-emergency calls from the E911 emergency telephone number system. The proposed system would include a 311 non-emergency telephone number call center, an expanded web site to include online reports, officers at district stations to handle phone-in and walk-in reports, improved graphics on the 911 page in the telephone directory, including a tear-away report form in the directory, and finally, an educational program to inform the public on the proper use of the E911 emergency and 311 non-emergency telephone number systems to report emergencies and non-emergencies.

The legislature finds that the tragic events of September 11, 2001 confirmed the need to have a high performing and efficient communications system available to public safety providers to facilitate command and control in the delivery of emergency services. E911 administrators must now examine security for the communications centers, its systems, and infrastructures; the survivability and redundancy of E911 centers and communications systems; the interoperability of multi-agency radio systems; and the training and needs of the call takers and dispatchers who staff E911 emergency telephone number system centers.

It is the intent of the legislature to authorize each county to assess countywide E911 and 311 surcharges to each landline and wireless telephone within that county; provided that the revenue from the surcharges is used only on county operated E911 and 311 call centers. It is not the intent of the legislature that the county surcharges be the sole funding source for county E911 and 311 call centers.

SECTION 2. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I, to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"269- County surcharges authorized for enhanced 911 and 311 services. (a) Each county shall be authorized to assess a surcharge for each landline and wireless telephone within the geographic boundaries of a county operated enhanced 911 public safety answering point.

(b) Each county shall be authorized to assess a surcharge for each landline and wireless telephone within the geographic boundaries of a county operated 311 non-emergency public safety answering point.

(c) Revenues collected by a county from enhanced 911 surcharges shall be used only to pay for costs associated with operating the county's enhanced 911 public safety answering point.

(d) Revenues collected by a county from 311 non-emergency surcharges shall be used only to pay for costs associated with developing and operating the county's 311 non-emergency public safety answering point."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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