Governor Signs Barrar Legislation to Protect County 9-1-1 Services
6/17/2013
On June 17, Gov. Tom Corbett ceremonially signed legislation authored by Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) to restructure the E-911 Wireless Fund and ensure its viability into the future. Without Act 9 of 2013, the fund would have become structurally bankrupt. Pictured (from left) are Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20), majority chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee; Corbett; Barrar, majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee; and Rep. Chris Sainato (D-Beaver/Lawrence), minority chairman.
HARRISBURG –
Gov. Tom Corbett today ceremonially signed legislation authored by Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) to restructure the E-911 Wireless Fund and ensure its viability into the future.  Without this legislation, the fund would have become structurally bankrupt.

“Funding for county 9-1-1 services is critical, and without the changes in this new law, our 9-1-1 centers would have been in a perilous funding position,” said Barrar.  “This legislation allows county 9-1-1 centers to streamline services and implement cost-cutting strategies.  Individuals who call into the system will not notice a difference in service, but the law will help those responsible for budgeting for and operating the system.”

House Bill 583, now Act 9 of 2013, authorizes the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to provide counties with helpful suggestions to cut costs, including joint purchasing, regionalization and consolidation.  It also eliminates the current carryover system in the E-911 Wireless Fund, which each year consumes a larger portion of the fund’s budget.  Finally, it makes technical changes to expand the spending authority for counties and their Public Safety Answering Points to ensure compliance with the 70 percent personnel funding allowed by law.

“Prior to this law, the 9-1-1 fund was a sinking ship that had gone off course,” said Barrar.  “Act 9 basically plugs the hole in the hull so we can redirect our energies toward making other future improvements to the system.  We need to find a funding source that is stable, because we have seen diminished returns with the demise of telephone land lines.  Whatever funding source we target must be sustainable over time because we already know that people’s communication preferences will change.”

Barrar noted that the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, of which he is majority chairman, is working with PEMA and county 9-1-1 centers on a future bill that would update provisions of the law and further examine the funding formula and surcharge on devices used to call 9-1-1.

More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at www.SteveBarrar.com and www.Facebook.com/RepBarrar.

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
717.783.8063
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
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