Statewide 911 system proposal passes

Lawmakers approved a proposal April 12 to create a statewide enhanced 911 system.

Introduced by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, LB938 authorizes the Nebraska Public Service Commission to plan, implement, coordinate, maintain and organize funding for a statewide system capable of next-generation service. This means public safety answering points will have the ability to receive 911 calls via voice, text or video using Internet protocol.

At least two public hearings on the plan are required. The commission will present the plan to the Legislature no later than Dec. 1, 2017, and it will be implemented sometime after July 1, 2018.

The plan will estimate the startup and ongoing costs of a statewide system and recommend the number of public safety answering points the state should maintain. The commission will ensure uniform statewide standards for technical support, training, efficiency and quality assurance at public safety answering points.

The bill also creates a fund to pay for the commission’s expenses in developing the plan, estimated to be $1.1 million in fiscal year 2016-17 and another $1 million in FY2017-18.

The commission will provide an annual report to the Legislature assessing the level of wireless 911 location accuracy compliance for wireless carriers.

Senators voted 48-0 to pass the bill.

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