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State Panels Clear Public Safety Bills

Public safety bills advanced in state legislative committees Monday. The California Assembly Emergency Management Committee voted 7-0 for AB-415, which would task the state’s Office of Emergency Services with setting up a grant program by Jan. 1, 2025, to give…

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fairgrounds the broadband infrastructure needed for emergency operations. AB-415 next needs approval from the Communications Committee. Meanwhile in Indiana, the House Public Safety Committee cleared the Senate-passed SB-316 to ask the statewide 911 board to study interoperability of computer-aided dispatch systems used by public safety answering points. In Oregon, the House Behavioral Health Committee cleared HB-2757 to require a 50-cent surcharge on telecom bills to fund the 988 mental health hotline. CTIA raised concerns with the bill in a Feb. 10 letter. “If the state cannot find the funds to support 988 through general revenue and federal funding, HB 2757 should be amended to ensure that any new tax on telecommunications consumers is limited,” it said. “Any 988 tax should be kept as low as possible and justified by data showing exactly what the tax will fund.”