Public Safety Legislation
Federal 911 / NG911 Related Legislation
[Note 116th Congress includes legislation introduced in 2019 and 2020]
Bills Related to 911 Fee Diversion
H.R.5928: “Fee Integrity and Responsibilities and to Regain Essential Spectrum for Public-safety Operators Needed to Deploy Equipment Reliably Act of 2020” (“FIRST RESPONDER Act”)
This bill was introduced in the House on Feb. 18, 2020 and includes provisions related to 911 fee diversion that are largely the same as those in H.R.2165 (described above). However, it would also require the FCC, within 180 days, to establish an interagency strike force to study how the Federal Government can most expeditiously end 911 fee diversion by a State or taxing jurisdiction. The bill also includes provisions to repeal the T-Band take-back provisions. For more on the T-Band, see previous section.
Bills Related to NG911 Funding
S.3246: “Spectrum Management and Reallocation for Taxpayers Act” (“SMART Act”)
This bill was introduced in the Senate in Jan 2020. Like H.R.2760, S.1479, and H.R.2741, this bill would also provide $12B of funding for NG911. However, it does not include any of the more detailed provisions included in the NG911 Act. The bill would pay for NG911 funds by auctioning commercial spectrum in the 3700-4200 MHz band (“C Band”). Note that the FCC has already adopted rules for reallocating and auctioning the C Band spectrum.
Bills Related to the Reclassification of 911 Telecommunicators
H.R.1629 & S.1015: “Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services Act of 2019” (“SAVES Act”)
Bill Overview: These bills were introduced in March/April 2019 and each enjoys bipartisan support. The two bills are identical, directing the Office of Management and Budget to categorize public safety telecommunicators as a protective service occupation under the Standard Occupational Classification System.
Bills Related to the Repeal of T-Band Provisions
H.R.451 & S.2748: “Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act of 2019”
Bill Overview: These bills were introduced in 2019, and both enjoy bipartisan support. These bills would repeal Section 6103 of the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which requires the FCC to reallocate the T-Band spectrum from public safety to commercial use by Feb. 2021 and requires public safety users to clear out of the spectrum by Feb. 2023. H.R.451 was marked up by the House Subcommittee on Communications & Technology on Mar. 10, 2020 and amended to include the 911 fee diversion provisions from H.R.5928 (described below). The amended bill was approved by the Subcommittee and sent back to the full House Energy & Commerce Committee.
Bills Related to 911 Fee Diversion
H.R.2165: “9-1-1 Fee Integrity Act”
Bill Overview: This bill was introduced in the House on Apr. 9, 2019. It would require the FCC, within 180 days, to issue final rules designating those expenditures that are acceptable for use of 911 fees, taxes, or charges, and amends the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999 (47 U.S.C. 615a–1(f)) to reflect adherence to the FCC’s new rules.
Bills Related to NG911 Funding
H.R.2760 & S.1479: “Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019” (“NG911 Act”)
These bills, which are identical, were introduced in May 2019. They would provide $12B of federal funding to support NG911 implementation.
H.R.2741: “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” (“LIFT America Act”)
This bill was introduced in the House in May 2019. The bill includes a number of infrastructure investment provisions, including NG911 provisions that align with the provisions of the NG911 Act (described above).
2018 & Before
The bill directs the FCC to (1) complete a proceeding within 18 months to consider adopting rules to ensure that the dispatchable location is conveyed with all 911 calls, regardless of technology platform and including 911 calls placed from multiline telephone systems; and (2) conduct a study on the public safety benefits, technical feasibility, and cost of making telecommunications service provider-owned Wi-Fi access points and other unlicensed technologies available to the public for direct access to 911 services during times of emergency when mobile service is unavailable.'
The bill requires that multi-line telephone systems permit users to directly dial 911 without having to first dial 9 or any other code. The bill also would require that installers of those systems configure them to provide notification to a central location at the facility when 911 is dialed.
S. Res 476 established April 2018 as National 9-1-1 Education Month and urges Government officials, parents, teachers, school administrators, caregivers, businesses, non-profit organizations, and the people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate ceremonies, training events and activities.
Provides $115m for Next Generation 9-1-1 and begins a multi-year process of building a public safety broadband network that must interconnect with NG9-1-1 Systems. Additionally the law requires studies examining current 9-1-1 fees and the costs associated with Next Generation 9-1-1 – valuable information that will allow Congress to address NG9-1-1 system development, deployment, and maintenance funding issues.
New and Emerging Technologies (NET) 911 Improvement Act of 2008
An act to promote and enhance public safety by facilitating the rapid deployment of IP-enabled 9-1-1 and E9-1-1 services, encourage the Nation's transition to a national IP-enabled emergency network, and improve 9-1-1 and E9-1-1 access to those with disabilities.
Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 ("Farm Bill”)
Pub. Law 110-246 (PDF)
Section 6107 of the 2008 Farm Bill, contained in Public Law 110-246 enables the Secretary of Agriculture to make loans to improve 9-1-1 access to entities eligible to borrow from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Such eligible entities include state or local governments or other public entities, Indian tribes and emergency communications equipment providers. The loans could be used for facilities and equipment to expand or improve 9-1-1 access and interoperable emergency communications. Government imposed fees, including state or local 9-1-1 fees, can be used as security for a loan.
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007
H.R.1 (Title XXII)
Makes $43.5 million available for PSAP grants authorized by the ENHANCE 911 Act of 2004 after 180 day rulemaking to determine criteria to receive grants (Title XXIII)
Authorizes $950 million per year for fiscal years 2008-2012 for a State Homeland Security Grant Program (Title I, Sec. 2004) and makes clear that such funds can be utilized for "supporting Public Safety Answering Points” (Title I, Sec. 2008)
Authorizes nearly $3.5 billion in Emergency Management Performance Grants which can be used for the construction of Emergency Operations Centers (Title II)
Establishes an Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program and authorizes $1.6 billion in grant funding for fiscal years 2009-2012 (Title III)
Pub. Law 110-53 (PDF)
Established a National 9-1-1 Office charged with coordinating the implementation of 9-1-1 service at the Federal, State and local levels and administered a Federal 9-1-1 grant program; includes language to ensure funds collected on telecommunications bills for enhancing emergency 9-1-1 services are only used for the support of 9-1-1.
Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999' Pub. Law 106-81 (PDF)
An Act to promote and enhance public safety through use of 9-1-1 as the universal emergency assistance number, further deployment of wireless 9-1-1 service, support of States in upgrading 9-1-1 capabilities and related functions, encouragement of construction and operation of seamless, ubiquitous, and reliable networks for personal wireless services, and for other purposes.