ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
ASSEMBLY, Nos. 3461 and 3544
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: OCTOBER 2, 2014
The Assembly Appropriations Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill Nos. 3461 and 3544 ACS, with committee amendments.
As amended, this bill requires 9-1-1 service facilities to be equipped with Next Generation 9-1-1 system approved by the Office of Emergency Telecommunications Services for the processing of requests for emergency services sent via electronic or text message within three years following the enactment of this bill.
The bill increases the 9-1-1 System and Emergency Response Fee by 10 percent to equip 9-1-1 service facilities with the ability to process requests for emergency services sent via an electronic message. Funds collected pursuant to the fee increase are only to be used to equip 9-1-1 service facilities with Next Generation 9-1-1 systems for the processing of requests for emergency services sent via electronic message. The fee increase will lapse after a period of 36 months following the enactment of this bill.
Currently, the 9-1-1 System and Emergency Response Fee, which is used to fund the 9-1-1 system, is a $0.90 monthly fee imposed on mobile service customers and telephone company customers in this State. This bill increases the monthly fee to $0.99.
The bill provides that a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly sends an electronic message to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service.
The 10 percent fee increase would expire after three years. The Office of Legislative Services estimates that the fee will generate roughly $11 to $12 million each of the three years it is imposed, for a total of $33 to $36 million collected to fund the Next Generation 9-1-1 system.
The amendments make a series of technical changes:
· recharacterizing the purpose of the improved 9-1-1 system from an “enhanced 9-1-1 system” to a “Next Generation 9-1-1 system”
· broadening and refining the “electronic message and text message” capacity of the improved system to one that can cope with a variety of message formats and content, including, but not limited to, electronic messages containing text, images, video, or data; and
· more precisely specifying the three year period during which the temporary fee increase will be imposed by detailing the billing periods for which it will be imposed.