Press Release: Hearing for 3 of Sen. Kagan’s 9-1-1 Legislation Scheduled for Tomorrow

Senator Cheryl C. Kagan
District 17 (Rockville & Gaithersburg)
(301) 858-3134
Hearing for 3 of Sen. Kagan’s 9-1-1 Legislation Scheduled for Tomorrow
5-bill package helps transition MD’s 9-1-1 systems to “NextGen” technology 

Annapolis, MD:  Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-D/17) will present testimony tomorrow on three bills that will address issues related to updating Maryland’s 9-1-1 system.  Two others (SB285 to establish a Commission to study the issues related to Next Generation 9-1-1; and SB1054, which would update our Public Information Act to shield “gory and gruesome” photos and videos) have already been heard.

Senator Kagan has had three people die in her district when 9-1-1 failed.  She has visited emergency response centers around the State, often bringing local Senate colleagues. “Our region is at risk of massive 9-1-1 disruptions from severe weather incidents; major transportation accidents; or– heaven forbid– a terrorist attack,” said Senator Kagan. “When people dial 9-1-1, they expect someone to answer and dispatch help immediately,” she added.
Hearings on three more 9-1-1 bills are scheduled for tomorrow:
  • SB1051 will close the funding loophole that has left counties underfunded — even before the critical technology updates. While the number of people who call 9-1-1 has skyrocketed, county revenues to pay for services have remained flat or even decreased. In 2016 (the most recent data available) the county share of 9-1-1 fees covered an average of only 39% of operating costs. We need to close the loophole to move forward with NextGen9-1-1.
  • SB1052 will ensure that taxpayer money is well-spent by requiring reports on performance and reliability standards before applying for funding from the Emergency Number Systems Board (ENSB). It will help us measure the success of our investments.
  • SB1053 recognizes the difficult, demanding, and harrowing work done by our “First First Responders.” It will make 9-1-1 calltakers eligible for additional benefits, at each county’s discretion. The people who answer in an emergency are the life-saving link between people in crisis and help. They are too often underpaid and undervalued. We need to recognize their valuable contribution to our public safety in order to strengthen our efforts at recruitment and retention for these stressful jobs.
SB1051 and SB1052 will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow, March 13 at 1:00pm in Annapolis. SB1053 will also be heard tomorrow in the Budget and Taxation Committee. 
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About Senator Cheryl C. Kagan: Senator Kagan (D) represents District 17, Rockville and Gaithersburg, in the Maryland General Assembly. First elected in 1994 to the House of Delegates, Kagan served two terms before stepping down to work in the non-profit sector. In 2014, Kagan returned to elected office, winning her first term to the Maryland State Senate. Kagan serves on the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, Joint Audit Committee, and Joint Committee on Federal Relations and is the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Management of Public Funds.