KY lawmakers debating increased funding for 911 dispatch centers - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

KY lawmakers debating increased funding for 911 dispatch centers

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HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) -

Kentucky lawmakers are debating legislation that could raise cell phone bills by 30 cents. That extra money would go towards cash strapped 911 dispatch centers. 

When a disaster strikes, you call 911 for help. When you use a cell phone, part of your bill, 70 cents goes to 911 dispatch centers. But with people phasing out landlines, money for emergency centers is quickly going down hill.

"Nobody wants to need a police officer. Nobody wants the fire department that's the last thing anybody wants is to be involved in a wreck or a house fire. But there's going to come a time that you may need them and we'll be there," says Randall Orange with Hopkins County Central Dispatch.

911 services are funded mainly through landline and wireless user fees. But since 2010, the number of landlines has gone down by 27 percent. The 70 cent statewide 911 wireless fee hasn't changed since 1998, but to keep up with changing technology, lawmakers are requesting that fee increase to one dollar.

"This funding is just going to help us keep up with technology and keep up with the demands of the people," Orande says.

Officials say currently the legislation is still in the House. If you would like to have your voice heard, you're encouraged to call 1-800-372-7181.  

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